10 Moms Share How They Handled Transitioning to Being a Working Mom

Going back to work after becoming a mother can be a very complex time in a woman’s life. Many women don’t have the choice of whether or not to work – staying home isn’t an option that works for their family. And the ones who do want to go back to work can feel conflicted about doing so. Women can be overwhelmed with guilt at this time, and for years to follow – guilt for leaving their baby in another’s care and guilt for enjoying their work and guilt for not being able to commit to their jobs the way they used to pre-baby.

Being a working mother is a hard thing to be in a society that doesn’t make it any easier on us. Childcare situations are often not ideal, work hours are long and intense, and things like breastfeeding or leaving to pick up a sick child from school can often result in tons of eye-rolls and passive-aggressive “oh, lucky you, leaving early again” remarks.

What’s important to note is that there is a generations-deep sisterhood of working mothers to pull us through when we think we’re being pulled into too many different directions. These women have been there, gone through it, and created the space for us to do the same. Yes, we’ll all make missteps and change paths and maybe even decide it’s no longer right for us – that’s all a part of the larger experience. But, because of the women who have come before us, we can perhaps learn a thing or two to help ease our transitions back into the workforce.

The sisterhood of motherhood is a powerful thing; let’s lift each other, instead of finding ways to tear each other down.

 

This mom was excited to go back to work…

“Here is where I tell you what surprised me most: How ready I was to go back. I know this is not the case for most moms around the world but for me, I felt like it was a chance to start over with my son, Macade. To show him that mommy is strong and CAN do it! It was a slow transition and my head was in a fog for three months after returning but I know now that it is all normal, all of it. And it is all OK!

 

 

This mom found more passion for her career…

“The thing that surprised me most about being a working mom was my newfound energy for my career. Once I got past the initial difficulty of the transition, I really started enjoying going into the office more and having a separate “non-mom” life. I now look forward to going into the office on Mondays and being able to sit in peace and quiet drinking hot coffee!”

 

 

This mom thinks the transition gets harder after each new baby…

“Our third kid was the game-changer. It meant a move to the suburbs, a new nanny, and a commute. I decided to throw a new job into the mix just to keep things interesting. And, you know what, eventually we figured it all out because we had to.”

 

 

This mom took advantage of offers for help…

I remember a lot of people would say to me while we were hanging out, “I’d love to watch (my daughter) Frances anytime.” To which I would honestly reply, “Great. How about tomorrow morning?”

 

 

This mom realized her organization skills from her job helped make her a better parent…

“My professional life has always involved juggling lots of different tasks and prioritizing to meet deadlines – that organizational aspect has helped a ton with my mom life. Scheduling my daughter’s calendar of play dates, school activities, and social functions has definitely proved to be just as challenging as scheduling my work calendar!”

 

 

This mom says being a working mother doesn’t get easier, just changes…

“I used to leave work after 5 pm each day and it made evenings super hectic and stressful. When our son started grade-school almost 3 years ago, I started picking both kids up from school most days.  Even if I continue to work on my computer as soon as I get home, it makes a huge difference to get homework started and dinner served before we are running out of the door for evening activities. I encourage all working mothers to use flex-time if your employers allow.”

 

 

This mom thinks having a work family makes it easier…

“For me, the biggest surprise returning to work was how much my coworkers and team supported me. I knew they were going to be supportive, but from pitching in when I have to pick Lila, my daughter, up sick at daycare, to bringing her to her appointments, to having to run out of meetings to pump – they have been so understanding through every step of the way! Plus, they always put up with my constant photo sharing and talking Lila updates ALL day long.”

 

 

This mom…

“I am still working through insecurities about the balance between being a mom and wanting a career. In the past, I’ve been surrounded by many women who I look up to so much but are on one end of the spectrum or the other that I have personally found it hard to figure out what that healthy balance is for me without feeling like I am compromising my time with my children or my business.”

 

 

This mom thinks it’s important to realize your privilege…

Source: Jamie Milni

“Being a successful working mom requires a fair amount of privilege. It’s easier to be a working mom when you are fulfilled by your work, you have a supportive team or boss, you can benefit from flexible hours, and you’re getting paid a fair salary with healthcare.

And it’s easier to go to work when you have a partner to split the load at home, you can access affordable daycare, and you have a positive relationship with the caretaker of your kids. Plenty of parents across the country often don’t have the emotional, financial or practical support or resources they need, and that’s something that needs to change because working moms are the backbone of our workforces and families.”

 

 

This mom believes balance isn’t real…

“I try not to use the words “boundaries” or “balance” when talking about the juggle of entrepreneurship and parenting. I see so many similarities between the two, and I think my experience as a mother has been invaluable in understanding the demands of starting a company. At all hours of all days, I am both a mother and an entrepreneur.”

 

 

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