If you saw the 18-page spread in the New York Times this past weekend, America’s Mothers are In Crisis. Is Anyone Listening to Them?, you too may be feeling the need to scream.
It’s a stunning piece on what employers and the government can actually do to support working mothers right now.
But it’s going so slowly. Ronnie Chen, Sr. Engineering Manager at Twitter, tweeted, “every two months we get another article about how america’s mothers are not okay and then… nothing happens”.
And First Lady Dr. Jill Biden told Parents magazine, “Maybe you’ve made mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner one too many times. Maybe your temper is shorter than usual. Maybe you’re too tired to be the “fun mom.” It’s okay. You’re not failing. You’re strong. You’re resilient. And you’re doing your best to carry your family through one of the most difficult times in memory. We’re going to do everything we can to get through this, together.” [Cue tears streaming down my face.]
Things do not look great for working moms right now. Whether it’s the mental health of mothers, hundreds of thousands of women leaving the workforce, or the seeming implausibility of returning to the workforce for women who have been on a pause for 7+ years, the future does indeed look bleak.
[Whew, here comes the inspirational part, I promise!]
So what can be done? Are there steps we can take to keep moving forward while the world seems to be holding us back? What do we do while waiting for our society to catch up with what is needed to repair the fabric of women’s careers?
However daunting the return-to-work canvas looks right now you must keep momentum in your career journey (I said must, not can).
Our best (and most realistic tip) is to “give it an hour.” Whether that is one hour a day, a week, or a month, spend at least one hour on your professional self consistently. Take a class, join us for a webinar, write your dreams in a journal, just do something for one hour. Set a timer and spend your time wisely.
Do this, and you will be ready for the resurgence of professional women in the workforce (whenever that may come).
Meanwhile, we will be behind the scenes working for you, to get employers up to speed on what working mothers truly need to navigate the balance that is career + motherhood.