Being a woman is hard, being a mom is hard, and being a working mom is hard. But how rewarding is it to come home from work to see your children’s (hopefully smiling) faces each and every day as working moms?
Mamas Uncut talked to 10 working moms in all stages of life about what being a working mom means to them.
Here is what they said:
Jami, Mom of a Fourth Grader
What were you most afraid of being a working mom? At first, I was most afraid of missing the milestones as my daughter grew. Now, it’s about missing things that are important- making sure I’m at every extracurricular, etc. I know how important it is for her, knowing I always support her.
Was that fear warranted? Not really when she was young. Yes, I missed the first time she rolled over, but I had an amazing sitter who told me all about it. Her growth and development were greatly enhanced by me being a working mom and her being able to gain valuable social skills at the daycare. Today, I am fortunate enough to work for a family-friendly business. I don’t ever really need to worry about not being there when I am needed.
What’s something you love most about being a working mom? I love showing my daughter what responsibly looks like. What being a productive member of society is. I truly think the time she spent as a baby and toddler at daycare was a huge positive in her life. We both gained many valuable lessons from that time.
What’s a piece of advice you would give to another working mom? Do what works for you—in everything. Nothing in life is one size fits all. Love your children and do what is best for you, them and your family and you will ROCK being a mom!
Norma, Mom of Adult Children, a Teen, and a Pre-Schooler
What were you most afraid of about being a working mom? What I have been most afraid of is if I get this job how far would it be to get to their school. Not being able to get to my child if there is an emergency is my biggest fear. We work far away from home and traffic doesn’t make it any easier. You can’t take advantage of carpooling with coworkers or any offers your work tries to give out to cut parking issues, etc. It’s the “What if something happens today.”
Was that fear warranted? Yes, having to get a call in mid-day from school or a coach has been the worst. Not being able to get to your child if something happened is the one things that stays in the back of head my head 24/7. It’s not something that you can turn off. Even as they get older and go off to college your always looking to make sure they know what to do in case of an emergency. You track how fast you can get to them, what Freeway is faster and you have to consider the time of day in case of traffic. (Having back up might help but it doesn’t ease the anxiety).
What’s something you love most about being a working mom? I love the relationships I have built with the people I work with including our Ph.D. and PsyD. students that I miss as they continue their journey to become a successful Psychologists. I have been blessed to see what I consider a successful woman, this would be my mother Adela. A Latina woman that was a Janitor for over 30 years. What I love most about being a working mom is that my children can see that I am an individual person that continues to shine outside the family circle.
What’s a piece of advice you would give to another working mom? My advice to another working mom would be yes you will miss some of the special school plays or school sports games. Make that effort anytime possible, enjoy every moment you can even if it’s the longest play ever or the coldest day outside to watch the game. Just remember that next time you might not be able to be there because you have that important meeting you can miss. Try to always ask your child how their day was, be interested in what they did that day. Ask about their friends they hang out with. Get the morning school newsletter sent to your email so you are aware of all the activities the school has and the special shout outs they do for the day. Your kid will wonder how you know all that stuff before they even come home to tell you about it. It’s great.
FYI: I have an amazing husband that covers some, well, all of my forgetfulness or mess-ups. It’s okay not to be wonder woman. I have the most amazing children I could have ever ask for. I love them!
Hannah, First-Time Expectant Mom
Is there anything you are most nervous about being a working mom? What I’m most worried about is having to leave my baby. I think it will be really hard at first to leave. I will be very nervous about not being there when the baby will still be very small. Luckily, my mom is going to babysit for the first few months so I won’t have to worry about taking him to daycare. I’m due in August and will be going back to work in December or January so I won’t have to worry as much about the baby getting the flu or RSV if he isn’t at daycare.
What’s something that’s helping ease your nerves as you get ready for birth? Not really at this point. I’m 16 weeks so that still seems very far away.
Was your mom a working mom? What have you learned from her that you will apply to raising your own child as a working parent? Yes, she was. My mom always worked, while raising 4 kids. She was amazing at leaving work at work and focusing only on us kids while at home and I’m going to do the same!! Nothing is more important than my family.
What are you most excited about? After a 3 year journey of trying to conceive I’m just really happy to be where I’m at and we are finally getting our baby! I can’t wait until August.
Katy, Mom of a First-Grader and a Pre-Schooler
What were you most afraid of being a working mom? My biggest fear of being a working Momma has been failing to find a work-life balance. I work part-time from home and that makes it extra hard to have a hard boundary between work life and home life.
Was that fear warranted? It has been warranted to a point. I’m pretty mindful about maximizing my time and keeping it to only certain days and hours but it’s a conscious effort.
What’s something you love most about being a working mom? Something I love about being a working Mom is that I feel like I have the best of both worlds – I get to contribute financially outside of the home and I also get to take advantage of all the great parts of being at home like field trips and storytime.
What’s a piece of advice you would give to another working mom? My best advice is not to sweat the small stuff. You can’t ever get back the time when they are little, so be sure to find a balance of time as a worker, mom, and as an individual.
Crystal, Mom of School-Aged Kids
What were you most afraid of being a working mom? What I was most afraid of when I went back to work after having my sons was being away from them for so long and not being there for them every minute. Dropping them off at daycare was heart-wrenching when they were babies. I missed them so much.
Was that fear warranted? The fear was not warranted because we had a great daycare provider who my children loved. They had fun, were well taken care of, and also made friends that they still play with today. We also had our parents to help out and still help us when we need them. Having co-workers who have gone through what I am going through being a working mom helps a lot also.
What’s something you love most about being a working mom? What I love the most about working fulltime is leading by example. My husband and I have hard-working parents. That taught us to be hard-working people, which will teach our children to work hard also.
What’s a piece of advice you would give to another working mom? A piece of advice I would give other working mothers is to stay strong and build a support network you can trust. It does take a village to raise a child. Each stage of life has its challenges and joys. It is all worth it.
Krystal, First-Time Expectant Mom
Is there anything you are most nervous about being a working mom? I believe that I’m most worried about being able to balance work life and home life-being present in all the moments and ways I need to be at my job and for my baby! I have a wonderful support system and I would be doing a large injustice to women and those that help me if I didn’t admit that I don’t do it all! You heard that mamas-we don’t always have to do everything! When you work 50 + hours a week-take the help y’all! I have a fantastic husband who runs errands, gets groceries and does any and all things we need. I also have a fantastic baby sitter lined up who I know is going to love this baby and help support my return to work! We also have someone who helps with housework for us during the week. It took me a long time to realize that if someone else is mopping our floors so I can continue to do what I love at work-my baby isn’t going to remember those things but rather that I was rested and present in the time I spent with them!
What’s something that’s helping ease your nerves as you get ready for birth? I exercise routinely every day which I feel is helpful to prepare me mentally and physically for birth. Yoga is one of my favorite workouts to ease stress, I attend weekly classes which really help keep me on track and focused.
Was your mom a working mom? What have you learned from her that you will apply to raising your child as a working parent? My mom was a working mom. Growing up she was always present for every big moment in my life. We also had a completely home-cooked meal and ate dinner as a family every night. If I had to pick one most important family tradition it would be uninterrupted family meals every night! Though I don’t think I’ll be making everything from scratch every night like my mom did I think the time together alone is priceless!
What are you most excited about? I have always been more of a career-minded woman, I truly am blessed to love my job! I feel a bit anxious at times trying to imagine balancing “the love” of all the important things in my life but I know it’s certainly possible!
Courtney, Mom of a 7-Year-old and a 3-Year-Old
What were you most afraid of being a working mom? Leaving/taking off for sickness, etc.
Was that fear warranted? The fear may not be warranted but the guilt was huge.
What I love most about a working mom? 2 – meeting adults – feeling of contributing to society. The luxuries we can afford and experience with both parents working.
What’s a piece of advice you would give to another working mom? New moms – pick and choose what is most important that you will commit to. Meaning- I missed my son’s VPK graduation and I greatly regret that. But I missed a few baseball games and I am okay with that. Also – pay someone to clean your home if possible. Use that time to spend with family. Cut money to make it happen.
Christina, First-Time Mom of a 5-Month-Old
What were you most afraid of being a working mom? I was most afraid that my baby would create a stronger bond with the person watching him instead of me. I was scared when I would pick him up after work, he would cry and not want to come home with me because he would forget who I was. He would be spending 40 hours a week at daycare with his teachers and a lot less time with me, so I had a fear he would forget about me and think that his daycare teacher was his mom. I also was scared that no one would take care of my baby the way I would. I carried him for 9 months and love him in a way no other person in this world could love him. I would constantly tell my significant other “how can someone take care of him the way we can? No one will be able to”. I was scared someone would just leave him in a corner all day, not change him, not feed him and not hold him. I would read about daycare horror stories and I constantly would think to myself that something like that could happen to my own baby. I was scared to leave him in the hands of someone else while I was working.
Was that fear warranted? Absolutely. I realized most of the fear was just in my head and me overthinking everything because I was a first-time mom. I just wanted the best for my baby, His first day of daycare was hard for me. I was dropping him off with complete strangers and I just did not know what to expect. Luckily, the daycare my son goes to does live updates. They sent pictures and videos throughout the day, notified me when he was changed, ate and was napping. I felt a huge sense of relief seeing those pictures and updates. I knew he was in good hands, and when I went to pick him up, he was happy. That’s all that mattered. His teachers gave me an update on how he did all day which put me at ease. When I pick him up from daycare, he has the biggest smile on his face when I get him. He knows who I am and he knows my voice. We both look forward to seeing each other every day and he is starting to understand his weekly routine.
What’s something you love most about being a working mom? I love that I am doing something to help provide for my family. I have always been the type of person who gets depressed when I am not working for a long period of time. Working makes me happy and it makes me feel productive. I feel good about myself which makes me a better mom to son. I want to show my son what hard work is (even though he does not understand it yet). I want to show him if you want something in life you need to work for it. I have always had a strong work ethic and that is something I want to instill in my son.
What’s a piece of advice you would give to another working mom? Don’t forget about “you”. It is easy to forget about yourself when you are working all day, coming home and caring for your little one then all of a sudden it’s time for bed and it repeats. Make sure to try and have time just for you whether that’s getting your nails done, going to a movie by yourself, dinner with friends, going on a walk, maybe it’s even waking up 10 minutes early just to have some time alone. Whatever it may be, make sure to try and always squeeze in some time for yourself.
Meghan, Mom of a Toddler
What were you most afraid of being a working mom? I was worried mostly about being able to find the right childcare. I don’t have any family in the area and I’m relatively new to the area as well so I didn’t have a big network of people to get opinions or options from. I know that when I was little my mom was forced to change child care options quite a few times and similar things had happened to other mom friends around the country. If you’re in someone’s home with their child, will your child get the amount of attention and love? If you’re in a daycare, will your child just get lost in the mix? Will she gain the skills and education that she needs in these early years? Will she have a good foundation if I’m not the one giving it to her day in and day out? Will they be able to get her to eat or sleep without me? My other big worry was about my job. I love my job and I love giving 110% to my school, my students and our community. Was I going to be able to balance my job and my family? Would I have to give up the things I loved to do like going on trips and helping out at games?
Was that fear warranted? I think they were both warranted to a degree but probably not to the degree I spent worrying about them! We have had Maddie’s main care provider leave her daycare but because of the relationship that we have built with the daycare director and the other providers, I really trust the new hire and it was a very smooth transition for both Maddie and I. I think I do give less of my outside time to my job. But I’m also more productive in the time I’m at work. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who has no issues taking Maddie when I go on trips or picking her up if I’m coming home late. I also really can’t say enough good things about our daycare. They take amazing care of my baby, they love her, and they’ve offered to help out outside of normal hours multiple times.
What’s something you love most about being a working mom? I love how much my coworkers and students care about my baby. I love that we have grown our little network to include some amazing people that we might not have met if Maddie wasn’t in daycare or if I wasn’t working. I love the socialization that Maddie gets from being at daycare. I love that Maddie will know that being a mom doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your other dreams or goals (I hope!).
What’s a piece of advice you would give to another working mom? My biggest advice would be to communicate. Communicate with your partner, with your friends, your coworkers, your childcare providers. It’s okay to ask for help or to share when you’re struggling. You don’t have to do it alone. Subscription services are also amazing. We use one for diapers and wipes and one for formula. It’s amazing.
Stephanie, First-Time Mom of a 10-Month-Old
What were you most afraid of being a working mom? I was most afraid about finding a balance between my career and mom-life. I love my son but I’ve also always loved my career and worked hard to get where I am in the medical field. I’m a Physician and Surgical Coordinator for New Hampshire Orthopaedic Center. I have two very busy surgeons that I directly work with and my job can be very demanding. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to have both in my life and if that was the case I would have chosen my son over my career, but the thought of starting over again was also very scary.
Was that fear warranted? I absolutely think my fear was warranted. When you have this beautiful newborn baby your first instinct is to automatically protect the baby and care for it. Some days that’s all you can think about. Did I feed him enough? Is he getting too much sleep? He drooled a bit should I change his outfit? Now pile that on top of a career where you also have to protect and care for patients. Did I answer all of the patient’s questions? Did I order the correct labs on that patient for surgery? Are my surgeon’s schedules correct? I felt like motherhood became my second full-time job. A job that I love and feel is very rewarding but it definitely goes head to head with my career on a daily basis. I’m sure this is the case for most people regardless of the job field they’re in. Society nowadays makes it very hard for both parents to not have a full-time job. We all have our own ways of figuring out how to make it work. The most important part is making it work.
What’s something you love most about being a working mom? I honestly love being able to have my baby and my career in my life. While I’m at work my day may be a bit more challenging than when I’m home or vice versa! I like being able to have adult conversations with my peers, going to the bathroom when I want or eating when I’m hungry. My favorite part of my day is going to pick my son up from daycare. His face lights up and he crawls his way over to me. I get him home and our routine of bath, dinner, and bed begins. Even though it’s chaotic and not always perfect I look forward to the next day. I don’t feel like I ever lost myself in motherhood. I’ve grown into a different version of myself but a better version living her best life.
What’s a piece of advice you would give another working mom? It is possible! There are hard days where you feel like you’re being torn in two. Days where you feel you may have dropped the ball on being a mom and other days where you dropped the ball on your job. No one’s perfect and you can’t make a career and baby fit perfectly together but you CAN have both!
Here’s to all the working moms out there doing what they need to do to support and grow their family.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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