I am the daughter of a working mother.
Throughout elementary school, I spent my afternoons at a babysitter’s house until my parents got home from work. There were times I would have loved to have come home from school each day to be greeted by my mom’s smiling face, but I never viewed going to the babysitter’s house as a detriment to my childhood. Every morning and every evening, my mom made sure to spend quality time with me and my younger sister. She made us dinner, brushed our hair and read us bedtime stories. While children with stay at home moms got to spend more time overall with their moms, it wouldn’t be fair to say that I was shortchanged — I got spend lots of quality time with my mom.
Some people say that working moms miss out on some of their child’s biggest moments or milestones; in our case this just wasn’t true. We were privileged in that my mom was able to attend school presentations, class parties and band concerts. Growing up, I never once thought that my mom working really hard meant that she cared more about work than she cared about my sister and I.
Ultimately, it’s her example that’s helped me see how important it is to find balance between my personal and professional life. She taught me that a woman who pursues a career can still be a caring, involved mother to her children. Even though society will try to guilt working mothers into thinking that they aren’t spending enough time with their children, my mother always stood her ground and fought for her right to be a proudly employed mother.
As Stephanie Precourt once said, “There will be so many times you feel like you’ve failed, but in the eyes, heart and mind of your child, you are super mom.” My mom always inspired me to speak up for myself and to stand for what I believed in, even if I was standing alone.
But for as much as I learned from my mom, credit where credit is also due — some of the most influential women in my life have also been stay-at-home moms. The hard work they put in daily is not to be seen as less. They’ve shown me that the importance is doing what you love and what feels right to you, without paying mind to the opinion of others.
To them, my mom, and other strong women role models — thank you for paving the way.