A Letter to the Working Mom

Here’s an excerpt from a really poignant letter by Alicia Keswani:

Hey there Working Mama,

Can we sit down and breathe for a sec?

Let’s set our stuff down and give permission to press pause on the ever-running-to-do-lists that runs like a news-ticker on our minds.

We need this break more than anyone but are probably the last to get it.

I know the fatigue that sets in when all you feel is guilty: guilty that you like going to work, guilty that you want to go home early to be with your baby. Guilty when you miss a milestone, or guilty when you have to stay late to catch up on a project. Guilty when you forget about an upcoming meeting or guilty that you have to leave early because the baby got sick.

Hear me friend–we may not know each other but I do know this: You were chosen to be your baby’s mama.

All of who you are–your passions, your fears, your job, your living situation, your marital status, your heart, your soul–is being used to create something so, so precious: a childhood.

You are not a bad mama for working. You are not a bad employee because you are a mother.

Either way, you are working because you’re a great mother.

You are brave and I admire you.

Link to the Full Letter can be read here.

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A Day in the Life of a Juggling Mom

“Working Mothers’ Laughter comes hardest when our double life is revealed for what it is: a juggling act in which the balls can drop at any time, invariably on our own head. – Allison Pearson”

Today was one of those days, when everything and everyone was pulling me in all directions.

My daughter was sent home from school, having sudden head lice. I had to give training presentations in the afternoon, which means I cannot take a full day leave from the office.

Deep Breaths.

Quick decisions must be made: I needed to bring my daughter to the doctor in the morning, but I must bring her also with me to the office in the afternoon. After making some calls, I took the morning off and brought my daughter to the pedia and derma. While in the waiting area, I made some emails and calls using my phone. Lunchtime, we made a quick lunch in the car while I submitted three documents to the embassy. In the afternoon, I gave my daughter paper and coloring materials to keep her busy while I finished my presentation. Five in the afternoon, I was exhausted, but turned in early.

Meals must be ordered since I cannot prepare and cook anymore. Even if I had pre cooked meals prepared, I contacted our friendly neighborhood food delivery, and ordered our meals in advance. We made it in time for Ash Wednesday Mass.

For days like these, I’m thankful for my “village” – officemates understanding enough to help with project tasks and looking after my daughter, and quick access meals/laundry when I cannot do chores anymore.

Working Moms are truly resourceful and resilient. Cheers to a productive yet stressful day. Ready for the next one!

Hurdles

I’m not thin, but I’m strong – plus my balance is such that I can navigate a flight of stairs with a basket of laundry and a stack of Pottery Barn catalogs, vaulting over cat-and-dog hurdles, never once spilling my coffee.” ~ Jen Lancaster

Working mothers can be found at the top of many professions, and the current generation of fathers are doing more than the dads that raised them, but we can’t pretend that working mothers and working fathers are on the same playing field.

We are jumping over hurdles while the men beside us are sprinting down a clear track. This simple metaphor illustrated by a Peruvian cartoonist at La Republica captures the complex challenges faces by working mothers.

Read more from this article here.

I Wish I Spent More Time with Family

Working moms know the struggle of balancing career with time for family. In fact, there is no ‘hack’ to work-life balance, as real moms point out. What is important is you don’t lose sight of your priorities even as you go up the career ladder. It’s a hard lesson that outgoing PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi learned during her tenure as the first female chief executive of the multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation.

More from the article here.

Mental Load

Working mothers who are the breadwinners are 3x more likely than fathers to bear the mental load.” ~ Bright Horizons Family Solutions

Here is an interesting article from Business Wire on Working Mothers. According to a latest study, women who are primary breadwinners are doing more at home than their male counterparts and even more than working mothers who are not providing their family’s primary financial support. Mothers with jobs that provide their family’s major source of income are also two and three times more likely to be managing the household and children’s schedules than breadwinning fathers, and more than 30 percent more likely than other working mothers to be taking care of everything from family finances to organizing family vacations.

Overburdened working mothers and modern husbands need an effective support system to fulfill their new dual, even multiple roles. By providing supports to working women, they can help open up mindshare that can contribute even more to the workplace. And by creating environments where men are encouraged and valued for taking advantage of work/life supports as well, workplaces can start to catch up with the culture this generation of working families demands.

Full article here.

GoodJobPH: The Radio Interview

“I try to see interviewing as performance art, and just take it as it comes.” ~ Liz Phair

A friend was looking for a possible candidate to be interviewed on radio for a feature on Working Moms, so I grabbed the opportunity with a resounding YES! I’ve dreamed of being interviewed on air, and what better way to fulfill this dream than by talking about my passions and life as a working mother.


I was nervous leading up to interview day. I wasn’t sure if I was “good enough” resource material to be interviewed. I talked to my husband about my concerns, and he reassured me to just speak from the heart, and everything will follow. I agreed, but made him promise to tell no one (except a handful of close friends), so I wouldn’t have to deal with meeting certain expectations, and I can freely share anecdotes without offending anyone.

My husband drove me to the station early, and we chatted a bit with another interviewee. There were three of us working moms to go on board that day, and it helped to get that rapport started early so we would all be more comfortable with each other during the actual show.

The program started around 10:30am, and we all got a chance to tell our stories as working mothers. I told them about the juggling act, knowing your priorities, and setting up support systems, both at work and at home, that you can rely on when things get tough. I spoke about Breastfeeding as an advocacy, since August was Breastfeeding Month, and how this helped nurture bonds between moms and babies, and also cultivate emotional intelligence early on. It was empowering and exhilarating to speak about our lives as working mothers, and I hope I was able to reach out and tell others that this choice, to work and be a mother at the same time, is not easy… but believe, ask help, and pray. It can be done. 


Two hours went by fast, and before we knew it, the show was over! The adrenaline was so high, and my heart was beating fast the whole time, but I truly enjoyed the experience. 

I’m thankful for my family’s support, not just for this interview, but in taking care of Sofie as well. So I dedicate this interview to them, my rock and support system. Without them, I wouldn’t have believed that it could be done. So cheers to all working moms, and to all the families behind their success!