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The “Working” Mother

Written by Jennifer Bews

As I began to write this article, I reflected on what it’s like owning a business while being a mom and I came to a few realizations. One, the term “working mother” is elusive and can be defined in many ways. Two, how often it can feel like if you’re succeeding at one role, you’re failing at another.

Now I’m VERY green when it comes to motherhood. My little guy is just over a year old and just as he has learned things in leaps in bounds this past year, so has his mother. He has taught me so much about myself and his unconditional love is constantly reminding me of what is most important and to leave behind any harsh judgements I have about myself as a mom.

And so, I want to redefine how I view the “working” mom. Because in general societal terms, it would mean a mother who works a 9-5 paying job. I have a hard time with that definition because I believe our lives are filled with “work” and it looks different for all of us. I believe it includes our work with our children, our spiritual work, our health and wellness work, our career and volunteer work, and the work for our social relationships (with partners, friends, and family). I realize that not all these things provide us with monetary benefits and that for most people what will make them the most money is often the path sought after. But I can’t help but believe that if you’re doing the things you love, with purpose and passion, success (whatever that looks like to you) will follow you home. 

The reason I feel it’s so important for me to redefine this definition, is that for all my adulthood prior to becoming a mom, my success was always closely linked to my career and the income I was earning. If I was not spending long hours at the office or on a project, I would often feel irrelevant and useless. But what I have discovered is that priorities in our lives will ebb and flow and each role you take on whether it’s motherhood, CEO, employee, volunteer, caregiver, etc., etc., just know that the role you prioritize at the top of your list is the most important role and it’s okay if those roles move around from day to day or year to year. We need to ensure the “work” we’re doing is what feels best in our hearts because at the end of it all we need to be okay with the roles we choose to play.

With that, I want to leave a few pieces of motherly advice that I have appreciated over the past year:

1.) Take care of yourself so you can take care of your family.

2.) Surround yourself with other mothers who love being a mom.

3.) “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” -CS Lewis

Happy Mother’s Day. 

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