This year officially marks the 100 year anniversary of the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment which gave the women the right to vote.
While we’ve come so far as a society with equality for women, we still have a significant way to go. Less pay (made worse if you’re a women of color), pink tax, sexual assault/harassment, etc., etc. show the discrepancies that females in the United States face on a daily basis.
But instead of focusing on the ways we still need to move forward, I want to take a moment today and celebrate a group of women that I joined just a little over a year ago: the working mom.
To be clear, being a full-time mom is a full-time job - just one that doesn’t offer a traditional paycheck. For now, I choose to work because I enjoy my job and I have support from family and paid childcare to make that a reality. But who knows what the future holds.
I definitely didn’t when my son was born. I knew things would change, but I didn’t know how hard it would be to try and balance being a mom and an employee. And that was pre-COVID. Now, it’s like an ongoing game of Tetris trying to figure out coverage with my mom or my sister or the babysitter or ensuring my husband and I don’t have overlapping meetings. My heart goes out to every mom who is trying to figure out school for the kid(s) during this pandemic.
It’s not easy. There’s not a single mom I’ve talked to who has ever said it’s easy. But on the days it’s extra hard, I look to my role models to inspire me and give me the strength to figure out exactly how to handle a client and my son.
My sister is a superwoman of a working mom and one of my biggest role models. She has two children under 6, a hair salon that she owns and operates and recently just beat cancer. How impressive is that?!
Growing up, my mom raised the four of us, my sister and two brothers, all while running her own cleaning business. Even now, she’s still working and watches the grandchildren on her day off.
And while the three of us have the support of our partners, not every working mom I know does. A close friend of mine is a single mom with a young son, runs her own cleaning business and works as a teacher.
In fact, according to the 2015 U.S. Census, 80% of single-parent families are single mothers. And of that 80%, only 19.9% aren’t working. Which means that there are roughly 12 million households led by single working moms.
Working moms come in all forms - women raising biological children, adopted children, grandchildren, foster children, nieces, nephews, siblings, etc. We’re tenacious, hard-working, flexible, caring, dedicated, multi-taskers. We’re in charge of the next generation and we’re all doing the best we can.
So today, take a moment with me and celebrate the working moms in your network. Happy Women’s Equality Day!