The superpowers needed to be a working mother are unmatched by any known force. Working mothers have taken on more responsibilities as the pandemic has uprooted their lives, managing remote learning schedules and juggling childcare needs. Our team honors and commends working mothers, praising their value and commitment to both family and professional life. You are balancing it all within your household, and you are among the unsung heroes of our time.
Equinox is lucky enough to have several working mothers as part of our team. We asked them to share their experience of being a working mother, any advice they have for fellow working mothers, and considerations for supporting working mothers.
Being a working mother is hard, but rewarding
Kelly Svihus, Equinox’s Director of Operations, sums up what it’s like to be a working mother in one word: HARD. Whether it’s spending more time with her child during the day or more time focusing on her work, there is a looming sense of guilt that proves to be a challenge to balance. However, she credits both her work and motherhood as extremely rewarding challenges she would never give up. “The work I do gives me a sense of purpose beyond being a mom and an added feeling of pride to provide for my family,” said Kelly.
Kelly’s experience of being a working mom has built her character and resilience, pushing her capabilities far beyond her expectations and making her “…feel stronger, more patient, and determined in all aspects of life.” Now, this isn’t to say stress isn’t a constant challenge. Kelly copes with the stress of being a working mother by confiding in her supportive family, friends, and coworkers to focus in chaotic times. Kelly’s optimistic outlook for working parents is that their work creates a newer, better world for their children to grow and thrive.
Balancing priorities with structure
For Megan Larson, Equinox’s newest corporate counsel attorney, she suggests gauging expectations and taking baby steps (no pun intended) toward your personal goals as a working mother. “When I returned to work after maternity leave, I thought I would be one of those women who would effortlessly have it all. Well, that wasn’t the case. I realized that I could have it all… just not all at once,” said Megan. Megan expressed that self-care has been a challenge as well. As with Kelly, finding the perfect balance between all of your priorities, including family, work, and self-care, can feel like an uphill battle.
As a piece of advice, Megan focuses on removing distractions whenever possible and staying present with the task at hand. “I try to turn off my phone when I’m at home and commit to structured time management when I’m at work. Some days are easier than others, but I have a wonderful community of working moms for support.”
Michelle Bomberger, Equinox’s CEO and managing attorney, shared her thoughts on how making boundaries can help. “When my kids were young, I structured my workday and my company to be sure I could pick them up after school, take them to their activities and have family time in the evenings. This was a rigid boundary I set and gave me ‘permission’ to frame my business and life in this way. As my kids have gotten older, they ‘need’ me less and we have less time together. I’ve allowed my business and other activities to fill that excess time. The past year with all of us at home together has offered a different perspective into their daily lives. Throughout the day, I see or hear them engaging in their school days, which I’ve never experienced before. I know that being present with my kids is important to me and to them (even if they don’t always show it) and I’m blessed to have the flexibility in my life to stay connected with them.”
Supporting working mothers
What can employers do to support working mothers? Start by having open, empathetic, and transparent communications with the working parents in your business. They can give you essential feedback on what reasonable accommodations can aid in their productivity, engagement, and work-life balance. Employers should also take a second look at their policies to see if they effectively support working mothers and parents. For example, does your business offer workplace flexibility or other family-oriented resources? Providing employees with appropriate avenues to cope with stress is also important to ensure burnout does not take hold of productivity.
We see you, working mothers! We’re so proud of your work and efforts. Thank you for being an inspiration not just on Mother’s Day but every day.