Working mothers represent a larger percentage of today’s workforce than ever before. According to the Women’s Bureau, they are “the sole or primary breadwinner for a record of 40% of households today compared with 11% of families in 1960.”
If you search “working mother” in Google images, you’re met with a string of women in corporate business suits holding a baby and looking at a computer, balancing a phone on her shoulder and a toddler on her hip or checking her watch while clicking out the door in stilettos with two children following behind her. While this does paint an accurate picture of a percentage of working mothers, it also fails to include the various other scenarios and lives of other mothers in the modern workforce.
There’s no one-size-fits-all scenario, no indication of what being a working mother “should” or “should not” look like. From achieving the “perfect” work/life balance, to juggling a schedule that leaves little room for personal time, there’s no denying they offer a unique perspective in the workforce.
To include the various lives of working mothers in modern society, we asked five of our associates to share their unique and inspiring perspectives about being working mothers and why they work.
To all the working mothers in the workforce, thank you for all you do.
Erin Coble, Assembler
Eight hours a day, 365 days, I clock-in and clock-out. However, my day is far from over because I am a mother. And as a mother your job never stops. It is constant, a 24/7, around the clock job.
A number of people ask me how I do it. My response is simply, Kensleigh Joy, my daughter. Her existence alone is why my drive to keep going remains strong. She is my daily reminder of why I have to work. I am her provider. As her mother I have to ensure she is clothed, fed and has shelter. She depends on me. Yes, I have my bad days just like everyone else, but I can’t just give up. I have a little one who looks up to me and follows my every move, literally!
Now that I am a mother, I hold the responsibility to be the example I want my daughter to follow. She can’t see me defeated or tired, even though I am beyond exhausted at times. She can’t see me easily give up.
If I don’t teach her anything else, I want her to know that life isn’t just handed to you on a silver platter. I have to illustrate that you work hard for what you want. Trust me, having two full-time jobs isn’t easy. I have become one tough woman and mother because of the daughter I am raising. All the credit belongs to her. Because without her, who am I really?
Katherine Smith, Production Associate
Reflecting back on my life over the years, there are many things that have motivated me to not only be a woman in the work force, but a busy mother in the work force. From the time I was little my parents instilled in me their core values of life.
1) You can be anything you want to be, 2) there is no substitute for hard work, 3) don’t take nonsense, 4) take your integrity seriously, 5) most importantly, be yourself.
Although I have my own career goals in mind and of course wish to excel in my job field, I also strive to inspire other mothers like myself. I wish to show them it is possible to have a balance between work and home and still be successful.
I wish for my children to be inspired by my hard work and dedication, and to instill in them the same core values my parents did in me, in hopes that they can grow to do a job they love, work hard, and be successful at what they do.
And lastly, to continue to better myself. I want to push myself to be the best that I can be at a job that I truly enjoy doing. To prove to myself that through my hard work, I can continue to grow within the company and that there is no limit to the things I can accomplish.
Ritu Basuroy, Proofreader
First of all, I am very proud to be a mother of a wonderful daughter. I am blessed. I know how it feels to be a working mother. Looking back today, I realize how challenging it was to be a working professional and a mother at the same time.
I would have to drive her from school to other classes in another institution during lunch hours, eating my lunch while driving, quickly run back from work to take her to after-school activities or pick her up from late school hours. But I think the most difficult phase is always when the child is sick and you are not able to skip your work because of an important meeting at work. Thankfully, I managed.
I believe my daughter observed and understood the challenges I faced. She will take lessons from those days and build her career in the same way or find out other ways to deal with various situations in a better way. I also thank my managers and colleagues for their support. A workplace culture that supports each other is the best for everybody’s sake and for a great team effort.
Motherhood is a gift. At the same time, mothers want to be successful in their professional lives. Many believe that women can’t have it all…I disagree.
Gwen Darby, Customer Service Representative
I am a single working mother of 5 beautiful blessings, one of whom has passed and is now our angel.
Since I am their sole supporter, it makes me strive to achieve more out of work and out of life. We relocated to seek new opportunities and to jumpstart my life. I have worked for Adecco since 1996 and was elated to find out that they were not just in my former city, but also had offices in my current area too, as well as around the world. The different assignments I was given allowed me to broaden my skills, and experience new work environments. With trying to establish a career, I realized having a degree would allow me better opportunities, so I am also a full time college student working on my Bachelor’s in Business Administration.
Being a working mother, my goal has always been to provide for my children and set an example to prepare them to work hard and become great. I’m trying to give to my children what I longed for from my parents, and that is love and direction.
There is no manual to being a parent, and I had to teach myself along the way. My motto to my children is to be great by choice and nothing is just given; you have to work hard. I hope my work ethic and positive outlook can be a testimony to other working mothers who may doubt their ability to be a career woman and a great mom. You can accomplish both.
Shellee Mitchell, Executive Administrative Assistant
I am a mom of two sons, affectionately referred to as “my boys.” I made a decisive choice to become a single-mom, concluding that it was better for me – us, to live in a home with less emotional havoc. With a toddler and an infant, I prepared for a new life journey of love, self-worth, and future empowerment.
My boys are my breath. On hard days and growing pains, “giving up” is not an option. When my sons became more self-sufficient, I returned to school to earn my masters. I graduated with my M.A. four days after my oldest son graduated high school. In the fall of 2016, he entered college and my youngest entered a performing arts school for dance.
I aspire to remain in a professional work place, while presiding over my mentoring program for young girls. My drive is for “my boys” and the young girls I mentor to live a life of strong self-efficacy that encompasses home and work life. At the start, I must be the pillar of that example in all aspects of my life.