This Mom Never Expected Her Performance Review Would Leave Her In Tears

"If life gave you a performance review, how would you do?"

Any new mom may feel apprehensive returning to work after being on maternity leave, but Artsana USA, Inc.'s infant brand Chicco wants these parents to know they're doing so much better than they may think. 

In a new video, the brand surprises Jessica O'Dowd — a merchandise analyst who came back to work after maternity leave once her daughter was five and a half months old — with a performance review she'll never forget.

"One of the big challenges is just missing this little human that came from you that's a huge part of your heart," she said in the video. "I certainly feel spread thin."

During her performance review at work she's asked, "What would you say some of your weaknesses are?"

"Not finding time for everything I want to," she replies. 

It's clear during this evaluation that O'Dowd feels concerned about her performance coming back to work after having her daughter. Like too many of us, she's her biggest critic. 

After interviewing her and hearing her worries, the person conducting her performance review reveals that he has something to show her. They've interviewed her friends, family, and co-workers and asked them how they think she's been doing — and they've compiled those interviews into a heartwarming video for her to watch. 

To O'Dowd's surprise, they think she's doing an incredible job and are immensely proud of all she's accomplished. She's overcome with emotion as she watches the video. 

"I guess that I'm doing a better job than I thought," she admits after watching. "You beat yourself up about not being the employee you were before and you beat yourself up about not being the mom you thought you could be. And, apparently you are."

Brenda Liistro, general manager of Feeding & Care for Artsana USA, Inc told A Plus that they pulled the whole thing off by telling O'Dowd she was being filmed for a documentary. 

"We identified Jessica from a shortlist of 20 couples and told her she was being filmed for a branded documentary about work-life balance," Liistro said. "Jessica had just returned to work a few weeks ago and up until immediately prior to filming, was unaware of the performance review. Her reactions are genuine as she watches video clips not only from co-workers but also from friends, family and even her husband."

Chicco has launched this video as part of their #NeverStopGrowing campaign which aims to "encourage and empower new parents by celebrating them and their efforts."

"Moms are performing many new roles, but they don't believe they are performing any role as well as they would like," Liistro said. "Regardless of whether you are a working mom, a work-from-home mom or a stay-at-home-mom, or something in between, the feelings of new motherhood are universal. Chances are, the moms (and dads!) around you have no idea how well they're really doing, so we hope our Chicco NaturalFit® #NeverStopGrowing campaign will provide everyone who knows a new mom a glimpse into her reality and inspire them to be supportive, understanding and uplifting."

Check out the whole video below: