As the fuss of Mother’s Day wears off, it is worth bearing in mind that every day mothers all over the world deserve to be lauded for their Herculean efforts in keeping their families, careers, and homes ticking along. It may not always be harmonious but the multitasking mothers make it happen regardless.
Around the world, being a working mother has become the norm rather than the exception in recent years. In Iceland 86% of women work; in Sweden that figure is 80%, while it’s 74 per cent in Canada. In Ireland, the figure is just 64.1%, and the United States also has a participation rate of less than 70%. Italy, meanwhile, has one of the lowest rates – only about one in two women work.
Fortune magazine recently collected some inspirational and downright realistic quotes from some well-known faces, about their experience of combining career and motherhood.
Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama:
“For me, being a mother made me a better professional, because coming home every night to my girls reminded me what I was working for. And being a professional made me a better mother, because by pursuing my dreams, I was modeling for my girls how to pursue their dreams.”
Facebook COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg:
“When a couple announces that they are having a baby, everyone says ‘Congratulations!’ to the man and ‘Congratulations! What are you planning on doing about work?’ to the woman. The broadly held assumption is that raising their child is her responsibility. In more than thirty years, this perception has changed very little.”
Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington:
“I think while all mothers deal with guilt, working mothers are plagued by guilt on steroids.”
Comedian, actor and author 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 sort of do the impossible.”
Can you relate as a working mother? What is the most difficult aspect of trying to combine children and career? Share your story with us!