Throughout history, women and mothers have rocked the world with their perseverance, ambition, and strides in the workforce.
1849: Elizabeth Blackwell was the first female doctor in the United States.
1910: Alice Stebbins Wells was one of the first American-born female police officers in the United States.
1960: Jeannette Pickering Rankin was the first woman to hold federal office in the United States.
1983: Sally Ride was the first American woman in space.
Our rockstar status can even be traced back to Cavemen (or Cave-women) times and to almost every corner of earth.
According to a recent survey, roughly 72% of US mothers are working moms, and recent pandemic-related events have made our already challenging situations exponentially more difficult.
2020 Is Not the Year for the Working Mom
Working moms have proven that they have ultimate multi-tasking skills to balance career and family, even when it seems impossible. It seems that this whole working mom thing just was starting to feel natural and then…
Cue the global pandemic.
The pandemic essentially threw all of our routines, boundaries, and responsibilities in a blender and forgot to put the lid on before hitting “start” and splattering the muck all over the walls of our previously comfortable home.
Of course, the pandemic is fun for no one; however, working moms seem to carry the brunt of the lifestyle disruption.
Already overwhelmed moms had to suddenly learn how to work from home with kids, face being laid off, or home-school their children. As if finding trustworthy childcare wasn’t already hard enough, many mothers had to arrange for new childcare options if they didn’t have the privilege to work from home.
I use the term privilege lightly, because trying to balance work deadlines and conference calls while frustrated kids are screaming in the background feels hardly advantageous.
In between my rare moments where I thrive spending extra time with my kids, I am consumed with mom guilt for being inpatient with my kids, insecurities over my inability to balance 800 different things at once, and then full mental and physical exhaustion.
I imagine that someday my kids will look back on these strange times and have memories of me swearing while I try to fuddle through 2nd grade math, overfilling my wine glass the very moment my shift ends at 4:30, and crying for seemingly no reason at all.
I don’t feel like the happy and warm mother I used to be. I am easily annoyed, short with my kids, and at the brink of collapse.
Basically, will future generations think back on the working moms of 2020 as the hot-mess failures that many of us feel we are?
Resilient Leaders in New Territory
Maybe, just maybe, working moms of 2020 won’t be judged for our shortcomings and temper tantrums. Possibly, we will be seen for what we really are.
Resilient leaders who are battling through new and unprecedented territory. A new, strong breed of women who can succeed through even the most intense and unpredictable times.
For working moms of 2020, the old predicament of balancing work and home is no longer a concern. We can throw out that old image of a scale.
Now, we have both work and family on our backs at all times and we are carrying them through these odd times.
It is heavy. So freaking heavy. However, our ability to cope and persevere through unexpected uncertainties is both noble and ridiculously impressive.
I have to believe that future generations will look back and add us to the list above:
2020: All Working Moms were thrown the most absurd, unforeseen, and honestly crappy situation imaginable, and they successfully carried their careers and family through it all.
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