How do you balance being a mom and your profession? You just do. Period. As moms, we go back and forth from wiping noses, changing diapers, Zoom meetings, helping with homework, budget reviews, getting soccer gear together, setting team KPI goals, college touring, coaching, and managing teams and board rooms. Neither list ever ends...
That is a lot of adjustments every day, particularly if you do not bring your authentic self to work. What does that mean to bring your authentic self to work?
It means acknowledging and showing you are MORE than just your profession, while you are at your professional work. Just because you may be preparing for a board meeting, does not mean you must hide your mom duties. Just because you are in a Zoom meeting does not mean your children have to hide in their own homes. As managers, we need to be able to provide a supportive space to talk openly about these things. So? Let’s have a real conversation about it. Moms, women, parent professionals --- start discussing your own balancing act, speak openly about it and relate to what your team may be experiencing. Share your own struggles, bring down your own defenses, and demonstrate authenticity. This opens up communication. The more you see the whole employee, the better you can enable the employee for success.
In the last year, I’ve witnessed many of my female colleagues resign due to growing demands at home. Seeing talented women be forced to leave the workforce because companies did not accommodate the needs of working parents at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic was disheartening.
But I’m glad the pandemic has opened our eyes to the diverse realities of the everyday employee, whether you’re a woman, man, mom, dad, son, daughter, and everyone across the spectrum. Today’s work environments and employers must acknowledge we have blended our worlds in our WFH situations. As an organization, leaders need to be more mindful. Employers need to see and work with the whole person, especially our moms. We can start by continuing to break down the walls that force us to ignore all the complexities of being a mom and a professional and see the whole human.
To my fellow moms, we sacrifice so much of ourselves to make those around us better, but we shouldn’t have to sacrifice who we are to thrive in this distributed workforce. Continue being the great mom that you are, but please remember to also bring your authentic mom persona to work too. The best employers will embrace the whole of you. Happy Mother’s Day!