Working On Mother’s Day

I just read what 7 Famous Mom’s Said About Being Working Mothers in Fortune Magazine.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube
In 2015 interview with TIME, Susan Wojcicki, who is a mother of five, emphasized the importance of family time.
“I’m not the kind of person who hangs out in the coffee area for an hour and has random conversations with people,” she said. “I like to be home for dinner with my kids, so I am ruthless about blocking my time.”
And while being a mother has its challenges, she did note how much she’s learned from the experience. “At work I have to delegate,” she said at the time. “At home I got better at getting people to help me so I can focus on the things that are important.”

Many of the women in this article are women I admire and they are role models for my generation and the next.

I haven’t known a time when I wasn’t working. I started working when I was 15 years old. I worked all the way through High School and College. In fact, I went to night school and worked full-time during the day in College. It was a necessity for me but I also didn’t know any better and didn’t expect any different from my life. After college, I landed a job that started my journey into adulthood and I never stopped. Throughout my career, there were no breaks. I always worked.

I experienced my first break right before I had children. I worked in a very high-stress environment and because my blood pressure was reflecting it, my doctor ordered me to stop working 5 weeks before I gave birth. Those 5 weeks were wonderful. I got so much done to prep my life, home and the time I spent with my husband was invaluable. But I was one of the lucky few. I had the luxury of good insurance and paid time off.

I went back to work 4 1/2 months after I gave birth and immediately noticed the difference. It wasn’t that I suffered from guilt or that I wanted to be home basking in motherhood. It was a sudden, stark and jarring realization that I had hit the glass ceiling. My career got derailed and I immediately hated being where I was. A year after I went back to work I quit. Again, an immense luxury afforded by having a supportive and working spouse. Friends were jealous and happy for me all at once. Everyone had an opinion.

However, having worked my entire life I realized within the first few weeks that I did not want to be home raising kids. I felt incredibly useless and yearned to do something that made me feel valuable. I had assumed, based on so many experiences of the women around me, that my value and worth would be attached to motherhood. So it was quite a surprise for me that this wasn’t the case.

My foray into Small Business was born of this need for value. I knew I didn’t want to go back to my old field and be completely absent in the home which was the case a year after I gave birth. Being a Small Business Entrepreneur has its own set of rewards and downfalls. I am able to carve out time for my children and attend to the needs of my home but I work nearly 7 days a week. I might take a day or two off in a month if that. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of but that is the nature of the Small Business beast.

I love my business and what it provides for my family. It’s not the money, I made more when I worked in the Corporate World, but the time it allows me and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My mother was a working mother and I have never known any different.

Today is Mother’s Day. I will be working a 9 hour day. Yesterday was a 14 hour day. Today is my 12th straight day working. I’m tired but I’m totally comfortable with it. Tomorrow I plan on taking a day off and spending it with them. Maybe I’ll get some sleep too. Right now I’m hustling. I’m hustling for my family, my children and myself – it makes me feel important and valuable.  I hope to be a role model just like my mother was for me.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. And an extra big shout out to working moms and a big hug to single moms. Cheers to you!

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