You Can Have Both – Signed, a Working Mom


“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” —Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

If I had to name offhand one famous woman who embodies what International Women’s Day is about, one woman who led the way for us in the workforce, it is, of course, THE Notorious RBG. It could be the profession I’m in, but I don’t think many people would disagree when I say that she was, quite simply, the GOAT of working moms.

As a mom who works outside of the home, I think it’s important to remember that our career is important, just like our role at home is important.

It is absolutely possible to have both if you want both.

That is, a successful career and a fulfilling life in motherhood. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s EASY or that every day is perfect. There will be a constant juggling of priorities, and yes, family always comes first.

What it means to me is that other women, other mothers, fought for us to be where we are today so that we can choose to have both should we desire it.

I don’t know about you, but that is ENCOURAGING to me! What a great reminder that we are free to have other interests and successes outside of motherhood because other women, with and without kids, made sure we’d have the right to do it.

I’ve known since I was very young that I wanted to be a mom. I also knew from a young age that I wanted to have a career (and not just because I grew up with parents who stressed the importance of hard work, good grades, and the idea that we ALL gotta go to work whether we like it or not).

I was raised by a mom with an incredible work ethic as a small business owner. Her example definitely contributed to my own confidence and ability to maintain both a career and motherhood – thanks, Mom!

I’ve worked at the same company for roughly seven years—right out of college, it was my first “big girl” job, and I’ve had two kids since; I also own a small business. Something I can say I have struggled with since having my kids is feeling included in both the workforce and motherhood.

It seems that even though we are often encouraged to do both, even though society says we can be present at home and the office, working moms regularly struggle with the guilt of not doing enough at work or not doing enough at home.

Is it all in our heads?

Maybe, but maybe not.

The biggest things I’ve learned as a working mom are to accept help and set boundaries. Yes, we can have both a career and motherhood, but that doesn’t always mean we can do it all, ALL the time!

If you find yourself in this position, be encouraged that accepting help at work and home is so important. Communicating boundaries at the office is SO important – our leaders will respect us more for communicating honestly. And if they don’t, maybe it’s time for a new job?

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is “Inspire Inclusion.”

How fitting is that for moms in the workforce?

According to the International Women’s Day website, the first International Women’s Day occurred in 1911. The day is intended to celebrate equality and inclusion of women globally. The words explaining this year’s campaign are something I think all of us can benefit from reading:

“When we inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, we forge a better world. And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment.”

Speaking for myself, I often feel there are two totally separate camps of motherhood, and their paths don’t cross well; either you stay home, or you don’t.

Logistically, that may be true, and there’s nothing wrong with either choice.

However, I’d love to say I live in a world, in a community, where all experiences of motherhood are encouraged and supported. I think we’re getting there, but it takes work by all of us.

Sticking with the theme of inspiring inclusion, I want moms like me to know that you can have both a career and kids and be fulfilled in both.

It’s a journey of new growth in professionalism.

It’s a journey of new growth in your role as a mother.

Women of all backgrounds and abilities deserve to be moms, and women of all backgrounds and abilities deserve to express themselves in a career.

As Ruth said, we belong in ALL places where decisions are being made.

-Signed, a Working Mom


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