Finally, we can admit it: being a mama is hard. At least sometimes. Building a career is stressful. Balancing working motherhood seems near impossible—but you’ve got this. Whether you choose to stay at home, have a flexible job, or are jumping back into the workforce, your new title as ‘Mom‘ is no doubt the most important one. But, with only so many hours in a week, you have to decide how to best manage work life with family life.
First, know that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and it’s okay to be unsure if you’re giving enough time to each role. It’s important to remember that regardless of how you do it, you know what’s best.
Here’s some eye-opening advice from some of my favorite working moms.
Do you feel like Jennifer Ariston from the comedy “Marley”, who said: When I am at home, I think about work, when I’m at work, I only think about home!
I do! And you know why? Because it’s normal. The good news is: you’re not alone in this ongoing battle. In fact, there are so many incredible women who have succeeded at both ‘insert job title’ and ‘mama.’ (Plus, having a working mama doesn’t hurt kids, science proves it.)
Sheryl Sandberg (she’s right hand of Mark Zuckerberg in Facebook): “Before, I didn’t quite get it. I did not really get how hard it is to succeed at work when you are overwhelmed at home…Being a mother is the most important—and most humbling—job I’ve ever had.”
Make your partner, a real partner!
“If we a woman and a man work full time, and have a child, women does the TWICE THE AMOUND OF HOUSE WORK the man does, and the women does THREE TIME THE AMOUND OF CHILD CARE THE MAN DOES. So, the woman has 3 jobs, and the man only 1. We need to change that.
You’re setting a great example for your kids
You’re a role model for your kids. Looking at you, they’re learning what is right and wrong and being an example of working mum, you’re just giving them answers for their future choices.
Victoria Beckham: “Like so many working mothers all over the world, I feel the constant struggle to be the best mother I can, whilst setting a good example to my children to work hard. I travel for work when it’s necessary, and I miss them all the time when I am away” – sounds familiar, eh?
Don’t ever forget what’s most important
Michelle Obama: “The truth of the matter was that whether I’m the first lady and he’s the president, our first job is make sure that our kids are on point. That is the most important legacy we will ever leave.”
Have open conversations
Talk with your children about why do you go to work, what are you doing there and how. Answer their questions, take them seriously, have an open discussion with your children about your work.
It’s okay to be selective + prioritize
Kim Kardashian: “It is an adjustment trying to balance a career and motherhood for sure, but the key is to prioritize. You become more selective and work on projects that are so meaningful because you want every other waking moment spent with your family. You have to remember, though, to make time for yourself.”
Forget the guilt
Katie Couric: “Get rid of the guilt…When you’re at one place, don’t feel bad that you’re not at work; when you’re at work, don’t feel bad that you’re not at home.”
You can make the impossible, possible
Tina Fey: “I think every working mom probably feels the same thing: You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible. Oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.”
It’s okay to set boundaries
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “When I started law school, my daughter, Jane, was 14 months and I attribute my success in law school largely to Jane. I went to class about 8:30 am and I came home at 4:00 pm, that was children’s hour. It was a total break in my day and children’s hour continued until Jane went to sleep. Then I was happy to go back to the books, so I felt each part of my life gave me respite from the other.”
Keep it in perspective
Serena Williams- “Knowing I’ve got this beautiful baby to go home to makes me feel like I don’t have to play another match. I don’t need the money or the titles or the prestige. I want them, but I don’t need them. That’s a different feeling for me.”
There are so many benefits of work to appreciate. I realize that I’m working not just for me, but for my littles at home who see what I do and how it teaches them they can do what they set their mind to, that sometimes it’s difficult, but you have to focus, prioritize, sacrifice and work hard for what you want.