Winning As a Working Mom
I never made the choice to be a working mom. I also never sat down and did the math to figure out if I had to be a working mom. I just am a working mom. I never thought it would be any other way, and I never considered doing it any differently. For as long as I can remember I just always knew I wanted to be a mom, and I always knew I wanted to work. Growing up, I had four sisters, including one who was born when I was a teenager. I loved having a little one around. I loved babysitting. My mom was a mom five times over. I just knew inherently that being a mother was part of who I would grow up to be. At the same time, as soon as I was old enough to earn a paycheck, I was working. I loved working. Before I even started college I worked as a mother’s helper, developing film in a photo shop in the mall, scheduling mammograms in a hospital, and doing desk jobs. I loved work far more than I liked school, and from my early teens I looked forward to having a career.
It never crossed my mind that motherhood and a career were things that should be on opposite sides of a scale, shaving a little off of one to even out the other with my own inner harmony hanging in the balance. And it’s never been that way for me. Never in our lives, not when we married nor when I got pregnant the first or second time, did my husband and I ever stop and wonder if I should stop working (or if he should for that matter).
But all of that does not make working motherhood any less of a challenge. While I may not carry the emotional burden of moms who struggle with their choice or need to work, I still struggle to get dinner on the table, fold the laundry, schedule soccer games and doctors appointments and play dates while being mentally and physically present at work all the time. That’s why I LOVED LOVED LOVED this list of 25 Ways to Win as a Working Mom by Samantha Ettus and published by Forbes. After all, she got me at hello with the first tip on her list, “Be unapologetic about your lifestyle. Making excuses for working is like wearing a short skirt and constantly pulling on it.” The rest is full of a combination of practical tips and attitude advice, some of which I already do (turn off the electronics to connect with your kids); some of which I’ll never do (use Sunday to plan a week’s worth meals); and some of which I aspire to (keep supplies in one place and pick clothes the night before); but all of which I admire largely because they are frank, achievable, and can make a difference.
Samantha Ettus is neither judging nor worrying about being judged. She’s just living life in a winning way. And that’s a working mom I can admire.
Do you want more tips on how to handle the challenges of being a working parent?
Use the below player to download, follow, and listen to Episode 2 of the Bright Horizons Family Matters Podcast: Making Modern Family Life Work. Click here to learn more about the Bright Horizons Family Matters Podcast.