May 07, 2021

HACC Moms Reflect on Joys, Challenges of Motherhood

This story is part of our “HACC Heroes” series. We recognize the severity of the global coronavirus pandemic and its impact on our communities. During this challenging time, we want to thank and recognize some of the many HACC employees, students and others who are making a difference. The heroes of this story are four women who are sharing why they like being a mom on Mother’s Day 2021.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – In celebration of Mother’s Day 2021, four moms at
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, share their thoughts on what the day means to them. You’ll be inspired by their insights into the wonderful – and sometimes challenging – world of motherhood.




Brandy Skaf, associate registrar of strategic scheduling
How old are your children? Graham (3) and Rowan (1)
What do you love about being a mom? I love seeing the world through their little eyes. They make everything a bit sweeter and bring so much joy to my life.
How are you effectively juggling your professional duties and your personal duties? I use daily to-do lists, my Outlook calendar and a family calendar to stay on track. I also prioritize self-care so that I have enough energy to manage all of my responsibilities.
What challenges do you face as a mom? I struggle with the expectations that society has on moms. Generally speaking, we are expected to work as if we don’t have kids and expected to care for kids as if we don’t have careers. I am so very thankful that HACC squashes this double standard and fully supports all employees, including employees with children.
What tips do you have for other moms? The hard times are temporary. Kids are resilient. When help is offered, say yes. You’re doing great!
Is there anything else you would like to share that we did not ask? I want to give major kudos to our students who are also working mothers. They are making the sacrifice and wearing many hats so that they can provide a better future for themselves and their children. Bravo!


 Desovia Musson, project management coordinator

How old are your children? My daughter is 12 years old and my son is 2 years old.
What do you love about being a mom? Being a mom is one of the favorite things I love about myself and my life. It is such an honor to assist my children through their journeys of life. The opportunity to provide safety, connection, encouragement, honesty, growth and unconditional love is amazing and so rewarding.
How are you effectively juggling your professional duties and your personal duties? It has been a tremendous challenge for me to achieve a healthy work-life balance, especially since the pandemic hit. One of the biggest adjustments I’ve made is to move my work computer away from our shared living space. I have also used the flexibility with my working hours to ensure that I am not sacrificing time with my children to get my work tasks done. This has allowed me to be an effective mother and employee for HACC.
What challenges do you face as a mom? I am a single mother and that in itself is extremely challenging. Whatever needs to be done, needs to be done by me. There is no one to turn to and say, “Tag, you’re it.” I have to be even more intentional with my planning, resources, decisions and be extremely diligent to ensure my children’s needs are met. I am also an adoptive mom, and while I don’t find that aspect challenging now, I know that my son will have certain questions later on in life regarding his beginnings. 
What tips do you have for other moms? “Mom guilt” is real, but try not feed to into it. You are working hard to feed your family and establish a good life and future for them. As mothers, let’s feel guilty that our children are loved, cared for, happy and thriving. I am guilty as charged!
Is there anything else you would like to share that we did not ask? Being a mother is definitely the highlight of my life, but it isn’t my entire life. I would encourage mothers to look inside to see what passions and gifts they have to offer the world, outside of their homes, and go for it. Allowing our children to have a front-row seat to us pursuing our purpose and passions is one of the most incredible gifts we can give them.



Emmanuella Brown, CARE Center
How old are your children? 1, 22, 19, 16
What do you love about being a mom? I love watching how quickly they change in such a short matter of time. I’ve enjoyed watching my 1-year-old change so fast in his first year and see how curious he is becoming about the world around him. He started forming his little personality early! For my bonus children, they are accomplishing so much and becoming beautiful, smart, courageous young adults now. It’s been such a blessing being in their lives and seeing how they've matured as well. Definitely born to stand out! I look forward to watching all of them enjoy what all life has to offer for them from here on out.
How are you effectively juggling your professional duties and your personal duties? Boy, it’s fun trying to send emails and take Zoom calls with a little one trying to close my laptop. HA! I have the support of family who have been looking out for my son as much as they can and also the support of colleagues who have made the juggling possible. I’ve been especially appreciative of this after a difficult experience before coming to HACC.
What challenges do you face as a mom? I think COVID-19 has been hard to deal with sometimes because my son hasn’t been able to be around people he would have been if the pandemic was not a factor. I think that’s the biggest challenge for now. However, I think playing the balancing game will always be difficult when you have children. We just learn to figure it out.
What tips do you have for other moms?
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help (and actually accept it), but don’t feel obligated to take people’s advice either, especially if it’s “unsolicited.” We know our kids and ourselves best, and there is no shame in that.
  • Take some time for yourself whenever you can, and if you have a spouse, make sure you make time for just the two of you.
  • Give yourself grace/be kind to yourself, we all make mistakes and each child is different.
  • Kids grow so fast! Enjoy every moment.


Nakia Eckert, director, new student orientation

How old are your children? Harrison (5) and Hayden (19 months)
What do you love about being a mom? I love their excitement at things that adults take for granted. They are truly overjoyed to run around the backyard on a nice day with their family. I also love how they have shown me forgiveness, grace and unconditional love. They love me even through my bad times and endless mistakes.
How are you effectively juggling your professional duties and your personal duties? If I’m being honest, sometimes I’m just making it through from wake up to bedtime. My husband and I use a shared calendar to keep track of our schedules so we know when the other one isn’t going to be around. We also have a rule that at the end of the work day, computers go away until both kids are in bed. Compartmentalizing and focusing on the task at hand has helped us immensely to feel connected to our kids.
What challenges do you face as a mom? I struggle with the societal pressures to create an image of perfection. Moms are expected to look perfect, have perfectly behaved kids, maintain careers and be the perfect wife and mom with everlasting patience. I am trying to squash all of this societal pressure by keeping it real as much as possible and by showing my children that mistakes and missteps should be embraced and celebrated as a part of our story. I am so grateful to HACC for the support they have shown working moms during the pandemic.
What tips do you have for other moms? Build up your fellow moms and the love will come back to you. As women and mothers, we need to support one another, not criticize or put each other down. There are many different ways to raise children, and they can all be correct! And pay it forward! If you know someone who is starting their journey as a mom, reach out and let them know you are in their corner, the sleepless nights will pass and you are there to listen.
Is there anything else you would like to share that we did not ask? Don’t be afraid to talk about the tough parts of being a mom. Chances are, many others have experienced something similar and can help you find a way through.

About HACC
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, is the first and largest of Pennsylvania’s 15 community colleges. HACC offers approximately 100 career and transfer associate degree, certificate and diploma programs to approximately 17,000 students. Also, the College serves students at its Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York campuses; through virtual learning; and via workforce development and continuing education training. For more information on how HACC is uniquely YOURS, visit Also, follow us on Twitter (@HACC_info), follow us on Instagram (@HACC_edu), like us on Facebook ( and use #HACCNews.