What’s A Working Mom To Do?

A Lot, My Friend. A Lot.

I believe that a woman should live her life exactly as the person she wants to be – not who others expect her to be.

Without feeling judged for the choices she makes.

picture of life coach Kelly Heard standing on a sidewalk

Any woman can be a great mother and raise children who are emotionally and physically healthy and thriving.

She can have this and a successful career simultaneously. And neither of these has to suffer because of the others. Nor does a woman have to run herself ragged doing so, proving to the world that she’s a perfect, superhuman dynamo.

She only has to show up and be herself.

No excuses or apologies. No compromising for herself or her children.

No believing she’s only as good as other people tell her she is. That she ‘should’ be at home with her kids all day. And certainly with no concern for anyone’s opinion, especially those rooted in last century’s societal expectations.

I Used To Be A Run-Myself-Ragged Champ

For years I was a busy marketing executive, which was relatively easy to navigate pre-baby. Once I became a mom, I knew things could be challenging.

But like many moms with demanding careers, walking the tightrope of fulfilling people’s expectations at work and at home – including my own – eventually led to stress, overwhelm, and burnout.

mom guilt to the tenth power graphic
Because regular mom guilt just doesn’t describe it. It’s multiplied.

Perhaps You’ve Been There, Too

It’s no surprise that work-life demands and the guilt of being a working mom become compounded if you’re in a career that demands a lot of your time and energy. Even among the most resilient of us.

For a while, you handle it like a champ. After all, you’ve had this career and life thing by the tail for a while now, so you can certainly nail the working mom thing too, right?

But over time, the stress, demands, and the comments chip away at you. These are some of my favorites that I’ve experienced:

Overheard coming from a stay-at-home tiger mom at a school event –

“There’s no reason why working moms can’t make time to be in the PTA, too. I mean, really. They can’t possibly spend as much time working as I do taking care of my kids and my husband.” Uh-huh. Did I also hear you say you alphabetize your spice rack?

From a former (single) colleague –

“What’s the point of having kids if you’re just going to pay someone else to take care of them while you’re at work all day?” News flash, Gertrude: this isn’t 1954. Most women in developed countries have careers now. Why? Because they want to.

These classics, from a former boss –

“It’s not fair if you get to work from home every time it snows just because your child’s school is closed. You’ll have to find a way to make it into the office.” Sure, I’ll just hitch a ride with a passing alpaca caravan just to be sure everyone else in the office feels better.

And this one, because the school’s morning child care didn’t allow dropoffs until precisely 7 a.m. –

“You need to get yourself a better support network so you don’t have to be [6 minutes] late to early morning board meetings.” Six. Minutes. So much for contemporary flexibility in the name of work-life balance.

And my personal favorite from that person –

“I expect all of you [department leaders] to be checking your email on evenings, weekends, and holidays in case there’s ‘something going on.’” Like what, a brochure emergency???

Any of these sound familiar to you?

The truth is, regardless of the lip service around the importance and value of being family-friendly, our society still sometimes looks down its collective nose at working moms, even turning its back on them when being family-friendly becomes inconvenient. (Fun fact: the U.S. is the only wealthy nation in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave.1)

So as time went on, even though work was going OK and my daughter was happy and thriving, I still constantly felt squeezed on both sides. Do your best at home, then run off to work. Do your best there with the time that you have, then run home and be the best parent you can be with what energy you have left.

Rinse and repeat.

I moved through the years living merely in survival mode, as opposed to actually living. I was bored and frustrated with my life.

Over time it became harder and harder to fight the feeling that something needed to change. I just didn’t know how to make it happen. Where to start first.

Deep inside, I was also frustrated with myself. I was a smart, self-sufficient, intelligent woman, and yet I couldn’t map out the pathway to get to where I wanted to be in life: striking that ever-elusive balance between motherhood, career, love life, and finding true peace and happiness.

If only I had discovered life coaching back then. I would have saved myself years of angst and frustration, spinning on the hamster wheel of life.

What I didn’t know then was that the things I wanted were always within my grasp – I just didn’t know how to manage my own thoughts in order to achieve them.

Eventually I found life coaching, and learned that pretty much everything you want in life is possible. Seriously.

I’m now able to move through life with complete confidence, and with love and gratitude for everything in my life.

All it takes is learning how to manage your thoughts.

And not “just think happy thoughts and life will be wonderful” managing. This kind of coaching uses cognitive psychology based techniques to help you identify your thought patterns that lead to burnout, stress, and overwhelm in the first place.

It teaches you how to banish those thoughts for good, and gives you the tools to uplevel your life and career permanently.

I Want the Same Thing For Every Working Mom

My life is proof that the transformation that can provide you the happy, balanced life that you’ve been longing for is possible. If you’re seeking:

  • happy, well-balanced children
  • great relationships with your partner and your family members
  • confidence to go after anything you want in life
  • that raise and promotion you know you deserve but have been afraid to ask for
  • the fearlessness it takes to create the kind of work-life balance that really works for you

Then it’s time to make a change in your life. Working with a coach is the path you’ve been looking for.

I’ve got you. 💜

Life Coach School Certified Life Coach Seal

1 Source: https://vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu/fast-facts-maternity-leave-policies-across-globe/