How to Be a Working Mom

This may seem like a silly post – after all, we don’t need to give advice on how to be a working dad. Men just get to work and be a dad, no questions asked.

However, the other day, a fellow mom who doesn’t work outside the home made an offhand comment to me that I “deserve a lot of credit” for working because she “could never leave her kid.”

To be honest, it bothered me even though I know it shouldn’t. At first, I was torn between wanting to get angry, go cry under my desk or laugh in her face. Neither of those options is particularly constructive though.

So instead, for my fellow working moms and soon-to-be working moms, here are a few tips to hopefully make your life and transition easier. Because #sisterhood. Other working moms, please chime in with your tips!

  • At the beginning, know that it’s not as impossible as it seems. I know, it seems crazy that you could leave your little love with someone else. But you can do it and they will thrive. Focus on one day at a time in the beginning and it will get easier.
  • Set your boundaries. Will you travel or won’t you…and when? What time do you need to leave the office each day? Decide on these things and stick to it. You know you’ll get your work done no matter what, but you also know you can’t be in the office 12 hours a day. Which leads to my next point…
  • Find a place to work that supports you. There are plenty of businesses and bosses who get it, and if yours isn’t one of them…move on. This may seem impossible, but it’s not. You are smart, valuable and a team player. You will find another opportunity that is a better fit for your life.
  • Don’t be afraid to admit that you sometimes practically skip to work. Hell, I do. SEE YA, as she throws her breakfast all over the floor. I mean I miss her almost instantly (it’s a mom thing), but it’s PERFECTLY NORMAL AND HEALTHY that we need and want fulfillment beyond being a mom. This doesn’t make you a bad mom – in fact, it helps make you an even more awesome one. 
  • Quality time over quantity. I’ve been working for 9+ months of my daughter’s life and I am still her favorite person in the world. I focus on her when I’m with her, and that’s enough for her. (Or maybe it’s the nursing thing, but please don’t burst my bubble.) She’s loved and cared for when I’m not around, and even more so when I am.

Most of all, haters gonna hate, so find people who get you and keep doing what you’re doing. HOWEVER, we also need to support all moms in their choices (even when it seems like they are judging us) and not fight snark with snark, as much as we want to.

As the one and only, Michelle Obama said – when they go low, we go high.

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Stephanie (Harig) Prause

Stephanie Prause is a corporate communications, sustainability communications and investor relations professional, juggling a career she thrives in with being a mom and wife. She is also passionate about staying active (as in, she’ll lose her mind otherwise). Other interests include sampling craft beers, cooking from scratch and reading voraciously (at least for about 20 minutes before she passes out mid-sentence).

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • After having my third baby in 5 years, I took a break to stay home for two years. And I almost lost myself. My kids are healthy, energetic and (so I’m told) adorable–BUT, being a mama bear full time did not fill my bucket. Period. I used to feel guilty but then I found that I really didn’t need to make an excuse. I work becuase that’s what makes ME happy. And the trickle down effect hits everyone in my circle. I’m far more energized when I pick up the nerds and we share details about our day. They understand that there’s more to mom than cutting up cucumbers and shopping Target 4 times a week. Seeing that I can do more than just mom stuff makes me pretty cool to them.

    • I am a grandmother and I am very happy I stayed home with my children, I was there for them always. In the morning and at night. I know things have changed with time. But I still feel working a job do it when they are in school and not past that time. They are children until they reach 18.

      • I am glad you are happy with your decision – as I am happy with my decision to work. I am there for my daughter in every way that matters. I hope no one ever makes you feel guilty for your decisions the way your comment could make a working mom feel guilty about their decisions. And also? Not all working moms have the option to make a choice to work or not – many HAVE to work, so please respect us all no matter our situation.

  • Amen to all of this! As someone who just recently stepped back into the working world, I can relate. 🙂 One thing I do that’s vital to my sanity is using my mom village. Mom friends/family help out when I’m in a pinch. Couldn’t do it without them!

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