Picture this, I’m in the prime of my career as a sports agent, just back from maternity leave after our first daughter was born, and within a few months of returning to the office, I find out I am pregnant. Twelve weeks pregnant….with twins. Aha, that’s why I couldn’t nurse our firstborn anymore. I was pregnant with twins!
I remember thinking to myself, “Blessing yes, but wow!” When I dropped the twins’ sonogram on my boss’s desk, he couldn’t hide it, he wasn’t happy. I remember thinking, how am I ever going to make this all work? I loved my work, but as any mom would attest to, I loved my children (even my unborn) more. And how will this all work financially? I knew the costs of one child for child care, now three? ,
I know that I’m not the only mother who has had to navigate the challenges of trying to make becoming a “working mom” … work. Feeling the squeeze of childcare costs against your compensation and love for your children and wondering, “Does this make sense?”
It breaks my heart when I see women leaving the workforce because they feel like they have no other option. The world needs women at the table bringing their energy and ideas to help shape the future we all share!
Having navigated motherhood (my three miracles are now in college) and built a career I’m so grateful for (and that has benefited our girls and my family greatly) I feel ready to share a mindset shift that helped me (and my family) along the way.
The Working Mom Challenge: A Foul Play
In the whirlwind of career highs and the demands of parenting, I faced the questions many women do – do I pause my career trajectory to be with my children? Can I earn enough for this to even make sense? What would re-entry into the workforce look like? And when they are all in school most of the day, then what? But the big question is, where should I spend my time, energy, and resources to ensure, now and in the future, I show up as the best person I can be?
It’s a challenge that’s often seen as the mom’s burden… But let me tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way – and, it shouldn’t be that way.
Reimagining the Game Plan: It’s a Team Effort
Amidst the chaos of a newborn and twins on the way, my husband and I had a lightbulb moment.
Instead of viewing childcare costs solely as an equation against my inflows, what if we reframed it as a shared endeavor?
We are considering not only our combined income and this new outflow of child care cost, but also our core values, and our combined and personal goals.
It’s a simple revelation that many couples miss – the cost of childcare is a joint responsibility and a complex equation!
The Working Mom Shift: Childcare as a Team Effort
Let’s shift the game. Instead of seeing childcare as a finite inflow and outflow equation, let’s see it as a combined, long-term opportunity to pursue what is possible and the impact we can have on our family while doing so….the impact on our families, our children, our partners, our community and more.
Let me be clear, your world is your world; your demands, desires, and dreams are yours.
My own mom went part-time when I was born and then re-entered full-time when I was in elementary school. This isn’t intended to imply there is a right or a wrong way for moms to stay or go from their careers, but what it is is a request to shift your lens ever so slightly to ensure you don’t overweigh your responsibility in the pursuit of your personal and professional dreams.
More on Motherhood:
- Reclaiming the Right to Success and Fulfillment
- Episode 167- Eve Rodsky on The Hidden Costs of Doing It All
- Moms: Give Yourself These 7 Permission Slips for Mother’s Day
- Episode 148- Allyson Felix on Overcoming Fear and Achieving Greatness
- Episode 149- Lisa Bilyeu on How to Build Self-Confidence
Molly Fletcher inspires leaders, teams and organizations to up their game. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Molly is the founder of Game Changer Performance Group. Sign up to receive her newsletter, subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast, and watch her TED Talk on The Secrets to a Champion Mindset.