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January 27 2016

Why Having A Working Mom Is The Best Thing Ever by Amanda Drath

Why Having a Working Mom is the Best Thing Ever by Amanda Drath

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When I was younger, I envied kids with stay-at-home moms. Growing up, my neighbor (and best friend) had a mom who was always around. She was there to drive us to countless sports practices, actively attend any and every school event, and inquire about our days as soon as we got off the bus in the afternoon. My mom, on the other hand, has been working for as long as I can remember. Not only that, but she has a very demanding job. If you have a working mom then you know the drill: the regular, sometimes lengthy business trips, late nights at the office, and some missed parent/teacher conferences throughout the years. As a kid, all of these job requirements upset me. I was sad because I missed my mom when she was away, or when she would come home past my bedtime so I couldn’t see her. But mostly, I was resentful. I resented the fact that many of my friends had moms who seemed to be around all the time, and mine wasn’t. These were the moms who made it to every soccer game, dance recital, school fundraiser, and class trip. Instead, my mom had meetings, trips, and work dinners. Business trips were the worst. I remember sometimes crying in my room after my mom would inform me of her latest trip. I even wrote a paper in 3rd grade about how my mom would leave me “alone with the boys” (meaning my brother and dad). I used to always wish my mom would just stay at home like everyone else.

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Looking back, it is easy to understand why I was so opposed to my mom working. I was just a kid, and I selfishly wanted her all to myself, 24/7. After all, my mom was, and still is to this day, my absolute best friend and favorite person on the planet. Contrary to my younger self though, I now have an incredible appreciation and admiration for my mom as well as working moms everywhere. For daughters in particular, I don’t think there is anything better than growing up with a working mom.

Here is why having a working mom is a blessing in disguise, and why I wouldn’t want it any other way:

1. You witness the importance of hard-work

My mom is the hardest working person I know. Everyday I am constantly amazed at what she accomplishes. Watching her go to work no matter what (like when she lands from a red-eye flight then heads straight to the office) has showed me what it means to have commitment, drive, and a strong work ethic. These qualities, which are imperative for any job, have been instilled in me both actively by my mom as well as naturally by just watching her each day. Plus, let’s face the facts, it can sometimes be difficult to be a woman in the workforce, as the playing field is not exactly level and fair. Therefore, learning the importance of determination and resilience from a working mom enables young girls to grow up confident and ready to succeed in whatever they choose to do.

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2. You learn how to be independent

Let’s be honest: not having your mom constantly by your side as a child can be tough, but it’s probably for the best. Not having my mom hovering over me all the time forced me to figure things out on my own, which is not a bad thing. Learning how to problem-solve and adjust to having time away from direct supervision and discipline fosters independence. While I always miss my mom when we’re apart, (which is definitely the case in college) I knew from a very young age how to handle being away from her and having to do things alone.

makeitonmyowngif3. You learn to appreciate your time together so much more

Working moms devote massive amounts of time to their careers, which unfortunately means that tradeoffs are necessary. With time constraints, quality time together becomes even more valuable. Not having my mom around all the time keeps me from taking her for granted. Nowadays, days off and free weekends take on a special meaning, and we always make sure to capitalize. My mom and I ensure we have some major bonding time, whether that means a lunch date, shopping spree, or simply obsessing over our dogs together. These seemingly mundane activities are infinitely more enjoyable and special when they aren’t possible everyday.

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4. She becomes the best role model you could ever imagine, in every way possible

I think it’s safe to say that most daughters view their mom as a role model. After all, there is no connection quite as unique as that between a mother and daughter. I, too, consider my mom to be the most influential person in every aspect of my life. However, as a young woman excited about launching a career after college, my mom has served as my biggest inspiration career-wise too. Seeing her thrive in her element at work events and hearing her colleagues rave about her gives me an insane amount of pride. Watching my mom balance work, family, and friends has given me the motivation and confidence that I can achieve it all someday too. She has shown me that dreams are attainable, and that you can have it all. The most important lesson that my mom has taught me is how to keep perspective and prioritize. As passionate as she is about her job, I have never felt like my mom has put her career before my family and me. In an ever-evolving world, working moms are the best proof that women don’t need to choose between a career and a family – they just have to strike a balance.

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I firmly believe that there are so many reasons, beyond these selected few, why growing up with a working mom can make you a better woman. But, I know that a lot of working moms feel guilty about returning to their job after having kids (I know my mom did) which is entirely understandable. These women don’t want to be away from their new babies, and they probably feel as though they’ll miss too much if they work. As someone who has grown up with two parents working full-time, I would encourage every new mom to make the hard choice and continue working, because it is so worth it in the long run. That sad, resentful little girl has turned into an independent, confident, hard-working, and empowered woman – and I owe it all to my mom.

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Read About Some Other Awesome Working Moms:

Always Show Up – Welcome To The Fit List, Tanya Zuckerbrot

From Cleaning Houses To Successful Business Owner – Meet Renata Rosa

Keeping It Real – Welcome To The Fit List, Rebecca Minkoff

Meet Amanda:

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Amanda

 

3 thoughts on “Why Having A Working Mom Is The Best Thing Ever by Amanda Drath

  1. Amanda,
    I know your mom through work, and reading this was so moving. First, you’re a great writer! I loved seeing your honest reflections about what your inner thoughts/feelings were growing up, they feel authentic and familiar (my mom worked part time and even I had those longings!), and you expressed them beautifully. Second, to see your evolution and how you reframed it all in terms of what it taught you and how it has prepared you as a college-aged woman out in the world was both wonderful and reassuring to me as a working mom.

    I plan to share this widely because I know many of us want to believe that our daughters/kids will be stronger and healthier as a result of the choices we make to model active participation in the workforce–reading your piece is the proof and insight we long for, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  2. Amanda, I work with your mom and I’m also a working mother. I read this post on Friday night and it has really stayed with me. My kids are both grown up and I have often wondered about the choices I made. Your insightful post meshes with my observations about working moms and stay at home moms: that it’s all about the relationship and the role modelling. You articulate so clearly that mixed bag of emotions that comes with watching your mother create a life that is both meaningful for herself and her family. I love that you recognize that there’s no need to compromise on those two. I also deeply appreciate your generosity and wisdom as you recognize that children, understandably, want the world to revolve around them. And there’s a price to pay if we let them think that! Thoughtfully making choices about how to engage with the world and how to cherish those you love, especially children, is what I think makes women particularly skillful in positions of leadership. We need more of them. I am reassured and so proud that women like you are leading our world into the future. Thank you for writing this.

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