No one ever says I want to have a baby and then hardly see her or I want to spend 5-10 years building an amazing career, take a break to raise a family, and then never be taken seriously in my field again. Literally, not a single woman (at least not the ones I know) says this, but it happens. Mamas, it’s time. We need to start rethinking how we mamas work and become our own bosses. Here’s why you should start thinking about how to become your own boss.
The system is outdated
The traditional 9-5 career was created for a man with the support of a wife (or mother) to take care of his life and home. We fought for the right to work, but we didn’t take that fight far enough. The system needs to change to accommodate the needs of a family. Whether you’re female or male, when you have a family, one person generally bears the brunt of home life needs. As of a 2013 Pew survey, that’s still overwhelming a woman.
Get this, women gained the right to work themselves into the ground. Across all socioeconomic levels, women end up working demanding careers and managing the needs of the home. It’s easily two full-time jobs. The one while demanding can be turned off. The latter is a 24/7 position that consistently bleeds into all areas of your life. The time that we spend juggling the two worlds is time that men are using to get promoted, invest in new skills, or network for that better paying job.
Whether you’re sitting in the board room or a standing at check-out register, if the baby didn’t sleep last night, you didn’t sleep last night. If you forgot to take out a meat for dinner, in the back of your mind you’re brainstorming about what to do for dinner. If a little one has a fever, you’re more than likely the person school calls first to pick her up, and you’re the one who’ll worry the most (Not that fathers don’t worry, they just worry differently). Motherhood is universal, and the way mamas work does not support motherhood.
You need flexibility
Admit it mama, you need a job with flexibility but not any job. No. You need a job that won’t look unfavorably at you leaving work early to take care of a “kid issue.” On days where there’s no school, wouldn’t it be great to just spend time with your kid instead of worry where you’ll find childcare so you won’t have to take a vacation day?
You need a career that allows your lifetime salary to only be limited by how smart you work not by how much. That gaping hole in your resume (you know the 3 years you stayed at home with your son or daughter?) doesn’t need to define your promotion potential. You need a career that is as flexible as you need it to be. Not an option for you? Well…
When your choices suck, create new choices.
It shouldn’t surprise you that your career doesn’t give you the flexibility you want. You work in an outdated system designed for men with supportive stay at home wives, but YOU don’t have a wife. You are the wife. So, you have the career, AND you’re the support. It’s no wonder you’re always tired.
I’m sure you’re great at your job. You’ve got the education and the experience. Most mothers are natural leaders. Think about all the competing demands you manage, leadership is in your wheelhouse, mama. The thing is, we’re often not praised for our gifts. Instead, we’re judged inside of a social system that was built around male talents and abilities.
So, for many mamas, work is just one of many competing priorities but we’re judged as if it’s our only priority. Then, if we leave the workforce entirely, we’re judged as if motherhood is our only priority, but that’s just not true either.
Admit it. You’re a multitasking maven
Every single mama I know is a multitasking maven. Most men don’t get that. They stay in their lanes. They work. Check. They cook. Check. They sleep. Check. They spend time with the kids. Check check. Most men single task. So, they can do everything well. Meanwhile, mamas, you’ve cooked dinner, helped with homework, given baths, taken a work call, and had a significant conversation with your oldest child all in the last hour without burning the dinner that’s simmering over on the stove. You’re a mama; you multitask.
You need a job that’s as flexible as you are and when that’s not an option (because it’s just not right now), you need to create your own option.
Rethink the way you work
That means you need to take the skills, education, and experience you already have and start your own career. Whether that means becoming a freelancer, a micro-entrepreneur, or starting a big ballin’ company, you can do it. That’s the lifestyle you need. Whatever you decide, start making your own choices because living inside of a system that doesn’t support you, isn’t living.
Mama, how are you rethinking the way you work? In the comments below share the top 3 things you need in your next professional venture and how you plan on making them your reality.