A Reflection on Mother’s Day & Working Moms
As Mother’s Day approaches I want to share my experience as a working mom and why I believe it’s important to honor and appreciate all the sacrifices moms make across the world.
I cannot talk about Mother’s Day or my experience as a working mom without thinking of my own mom. She raised four children, was actively involved in everything from teaching Sunday school to teaching at our local high school. She majored in Spanish in college, decades before foreign language competency was a necessity in our world. She was devoted to life-long learning and continues to mentor students and young people who are insulin reliant with Type One Diabetes, as she herself has been diagnosed. She still volunteers at her local library and remains active in her church.
When I became a Mom for the first time, it was for the second time too. Three minutes apart, two little Aries were born. In my Mastermind group, we started talking about generational occurrences and how interesting it is to reflect on them. Why do they happen? You see, my Mom is a twin too. And my grandmother, who I adored, became a single Mom when my Mom and my beloved Aunt were two years old. And as history would have it, when my girls were the very same age I became a single Mom too.
When it happened, I was paralyzed. And somehow, with a supportive and loving family and an employer who had empathy, I put one foot in front of the other each day and made it through. Was I good at being a single Mom? No, I was not. However, I tried hard to do the right thing. Most days I just prayed for a good night’s sleep so that I could make it through another day.
Today, my daughters are grown and live very accomplished and full lives. They are beautiful inside and out, have impressive careers, exercise, eat right, and give back to their communities. And yes, I love them more than anything.
As I sit at my desk, I think about how lucky I am. My message for all the working moms out there on Mother’s Day, having walked a million miles in your shoes, is to be nice to yourselves. Don’t carry the guilt that I carried for decades about not giving enough or being enough. You are enough.
I remember the days when I had to choose between work and chaperoning my kids’ field trip or missing one of the many sporting events they participated in due to a work conflict. You read constantly about balance and wellness, and the challenges working moms face to do it all.
I think about social skills, and how lacking they are in so many ways. I think of the reports I read, where social skills are not being addressed at home, in elementary or high school, and often, not in college. I think of the power of saying “thank you,” of shaking someone’s hand, making eye contact and sharing a conversation, of introducing strangers who may benefit from knowing one another or asking someone new to meet you for coffee. I think about dining with family or friends and no mobile devices on the dinner table.
When I think about who could have the biggest impact and make our world a better place, I think of women and I think of moms. I think of emotional intelligence, empathy, teamwork, listening and problem-solving skills, negotiating skills and multi-tasking and the contributions you make every day. I think of moms. Happy Mother’s Day moms of the world, this one’s for you. And yes, you are good enough just the way you are.
With kindness and gratitude,