Navigating Motherhood in the Workplace
Jenny Munn | Talent Engineer
Kimberly Bauer | Talent Solutions Marketing Specialist
Shawna Vite | Team Lead - Talent Solutions
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, a few of us got together to take a moment and reflect on our journeys as working moms. And we wanted to share some encouragement with you!
Do you resonate with this quote by Tina Fey? “I think every working mom probably feels the same thing: You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible – oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you do the impossible.”
No matter what your situation looks like, navigating it all can be challenging and feel impossible. Having positive rhythms and friends in your workplace that can support you in that journey can make all the difference.
We are grateful that DISHER is a place where moms are valued and empowered, but we realize not everyone has that experience. To encourage you as you continue to travel down the path as a working mom, we came up with a few ideas.
1. Set healthy boundaries.
“Women typically are regarded as nurturers and helpers, so saying ‘no’ runs against the grain of what might be expected of them,” states a Baylor researcher. According to an article from Marie Claire, “Women feel a stronger sense of guilt when they say ‘no’ and feel bad when they do.” We get it, we’ve all been there. It’s easy to say “yes” to too much and put yourself on the back burner to balance it all. Our encouragement is to set boundaries for what works for you and your family and don’t let other’s expectations dictate your view of what you accomplish. Be confident in setting boundaries for yourself, and don’t shy away from saying “no” when you need to.
2. Build community
Build relationships with other moms in your workplace. A community enables you to support each other and navigate challenges together. Within this group, you can celebrate victories, encourage one another through a hard season, or listen to each other vent about a difficult day. This might look like a text group, a chat thread in Teams, or a regular lunch date. There are a variety of ways you can fit this into your work balance. We encourage you to make it a priority. It can make all the difference knowing that you are not alone.
3. Communicate your needs
Every mom has different life experiences and needs support in different ways. Have honest conversations with your coach/boss and your peers about where you are and what it is you need to be successful in each season of parenthood. It might not be possible to meet every need. But if you don’t express your needs, you aren’t giving your workplace a chance to meet you where you’re at and support you in the way that’s most meaningful to you.
4. Don’t apologize for what you need.
“Saying sorry gives away your power,” says Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford Professor. Becoming a parent impacts your life in a big way, and naturally that changes what you need as an individual. Don’t apologize for what you need as an employee, as a mom, and as a person.
5. Remember, you are awesome!
It seems to be a universal trait that moms underestimate all that they are doing. The titles are endless—Caretaker, Event Planner, Personal Shopper, Chef, Taxi Driver, and then add your work title. Bottom line? You. Are. Awesome. You touch so many lives and make an impact in so many circles.
Don’t underestimate what you bring to the table. Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. Everyone’s expectations and capabilities look different. Keep in mind, you were put on this earth to be uniquely you; you are special.
Happy Mother’s Day!