I have three children—an almost four-year-old son and nine-month-old boy/girl twins.
I am an attorney at The Law Office of Lindy Korn, PLLC., freelance writer, freelance copywriter, digital content creator and founder and blogger of The Mom at Law.
BIGGEST CHALLENGES AS A WORKING MOM:
The challenge I have always faced has been balancing the desires of my head and my heart. Especially while my children are so young, I’ve felt the pull to enjoy this time with them, which, for me, has meant cutting back at work in the traditional sense.
I’ve been blessed with extraordinary support personally and professionally. I was an associate attorney with my firm prior to going of counsel. My boss, Lindy, has been a huge support every step of the way. With my oldest son, I received four months maternity leave paid at my full salary and a flexible schedule upon return. The flexibility never wavered, even when I shared that I wanted to drastically reduce my schedule and switch status with the firm.
My husband has also been a positive support. He is also a working professional who has navigated his career to best meet the needs and happiness of our family. He supported my choices when I wanted to work full-time and he has supported them when I wanted to work less as well.
Because of this flexibility, I have been able to launch my blog and freelance business, which was long a dream of mine. I also plan to start my own law firm in a new practice area next year. None of this would have been possible without listening to my head, my heart, and to the incredible support people in my life.
So, for me, the biggest challenge as a working mom has been listening to my instincts, trusting them, and being steadfast in my choices.
TIME SAVING TIP FOR WORKING MOMS:
Don’t worry about doing everything yourself. Be willing to accept help. Our society pressures women differently than it does men. Society does not expect men to “do it all.” Rather, society assumes men will have the support they need in various aspects of their lives to get the job done.
Most aren’t wondering how men manage to go to work, fold the laundry, make dinner, and feed their kids when in fact husbands and fathers are just as responsible for their home lives as wives and mothers are.
For example, my husband has never thought twice about making meals and doing housework. He’s truly an egalitarian partner, and yet there are times I feel guilty when I see him folding a load of laundry or doing the dishes. That’s not guilt from him. That’s inborn pressure from society—and, let’s be honest, my Type A self.
This disparity is apparent in the language we use. You hear a lot about “working moms,” but not as much about “working dads.”
I always encourage other working moms to let go of this need to “do it all.” No one is doing it all. Not other working moms and not other working dads. Accept help from your spouse without guilt. Don’t feel bad about having a daytime caregiver while you go to work. No one does it all on their own and you shouldn’t feel like you need to either.
ANY WORKING MOM GUILT?
I am a naturally guilt prone person, so of course I’ve struggled with working mom guilt as well as good old garden variety mom guilt. My strategy has always been to get to the root of the problem.
Sometimes the guilt exists for a reason, but other times, it’s part of that larger narrative of thinking I should be doing something differently when in fact what I am doing is perfectly fine.
For example, if I feel guilty because I think work is distracting me during times I would rather it not, I work on that. I try to be more present. I always try to be honest with myself, so if there is some way I can improve, I strive to improve.
However, if I suspect the guilt is just me being unfair/unkind to myself, I always talk it out with someone—my husband, a friend.Having that support helps me refocus and remember what’s important.
CAN YOU HAVE IT ALL?
I’m not a huge fan of the term “having it all.” Yes, you can have a career, a family, hobbies, and you can be happy, but it will be a balancing act—for women and for men. Of course, society doesn’t ask how the male CEO manages to have it all because the societal definition of what “all” is for men and women is disparate. If that male CEO was judged by the same standards as a female CEO, society would likely conclude that he doesn’t have it “all” either.
So, I’m not a fan of the term. However, I am a huge fan of doing what works for you and your family. You can be wildly successful and wildly happy when you listen to your heart, when you have incredible support, and when you are bold enough to define and live on your own terms. Take ownership over your life and live it fully.