Because being a mom is hard, that in itself is enough for a full-time job, but for many it's simply not enough. Many moms take time off work after they have children. Sometimes, they return to their jobs and other times they decide to stay home with their kids. Every situation is different and every mom has her own story. However, every mom I know, whether at a physical job, working at home (like me below with my daughter), or homeschooling their children, wants to have a sense of self and some independence.
The working mama blog will highlight and share stories of working mamas, whether they are "mompreneurs," career moms, moms that work at home, blogger moms, or homeschooling moms, and if they're Latina moms it's a bigger plus. The goal is to offer insight into different types of work/income-generating opportunities available to moms as well as tips and support. Many moms' careers change after having children, we will bring to light how a working mom's life changes after having a child and what moms are doing to regain their sense of self and independence.
I know from personal experience, as a career-oriented woman, it’s taken me a few years to start rediscovering myself after I had my daughter. I felt like I had lost myself (you can read more about that here). My Latina mom was a stay at home mom and I treasure the time and dedication she gave to us. I knew that I wanted to be there for my daughter, but I also knew that if I didn’t work, I’d go crazy. Because of that, I’ve tapped into many creative outlets (design, photography, and e-commerce) to help me out financially, while offering me the flexibility and freedom to take a Friday off with my daughter if I want to. I do end up working many late nights and early mornings while everyone else is sleeping, but it’s a tradeoff I’m willing to take. Like everything, there is success and failure, but you have to keep trying and pushing forward and breaking barriers.
The unfortunate truth is that the American workplace is not friendly to the working mom, but it's slowly getting better. You are expected to raise America's next great generation while barely having paid maternity leave (if any at all), many inflexible hours, and a sense of shame for leaving work early because your child got sick at school. These are all familiar stories shared by many of my working mom friends. There are frustration and anger. Some people think that children are a distraction and too big of a risk for a company and often see hiring a mom as a negative. I see the complete opposite. Ok, so your memory may not be as good as it used to before being a mom (read more about mommy brain here), but there are so many skills and newly acquired abilities that would put any childfree worker to shame. If working moms are given the opportunity, we can become great assets for any company.
According to the U.S Department of Labor's Women's Bureau, "In 2015, 69.9 percent of mothers with children under age 18 were in the labor force, representing over a third (34.2 percent) of working women. Moreover, mother-only families made up nearly a quarter of families with children. While their role in the paid labor force has changed, mothers continue to carry a disproportionate share of the unpaid household and caregiving responsibilities. At the same time, they still face a lack of adequate workplace supports and encounter barriers that prevent them from achieving economic security for themselves and their families." Hispanic moms make up the lowest labor participation groups of all ethnicities (61.9%) and also make up the highest ethnicity group for working mothers with no spouse present (34.3% of Hispanic families.) 43% of Hispanic mothers are also the primary or sole earners in a household. For an in-depth look at the stats check out the Department of Labor's Working Mothers Issue Brief.
The truth is that for Hispanic moms the stats are very telling and disturbing, but not surprising. As a first-generation college graduate in my very own family (below), I broke the having multiple kids and stay at home mom while dad works cycle. I opted for a career first, earning as much as 6 figures, before starting a small family in my mid 30's. Now my income may not be as much as before, but I have more time to spend with my daughter and flexibility, and I still generate about 40% of our household income. I want to empower Latina moms to believe that they can do the same. It may not be easy, but let's face it, we already know that madrehood isn't easy so this shouldn't stop us.
Join me every week, as I share an inspirational story of a mama hard at work, highlighting what she's doing and how she's figuring it all out. If you're a working mama and would like to be featured in the blog, please email me at email@example.com. I'd love to share your story with the world and help inspire other moms too. If you'd like to know more about my story read about it here. My story may not be not enough to make a difference, but maybe another mom's will.
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