New Book Says Working Moms Can Have Their Cake and Eat It Too

Going back to work after having a child can be a tough decision for many working mothers, because they fear motherhood means their careers have to suffer. A new book shows working that parenting and career success aren’t mutually exclusive.

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(Photo Credit: Caroline/Flickr)

A Pew Research Center study found that 32 percent of mothers feel that “their ideal situation would be to work full time,” which is an increase from the 20 percent in 2007. However, with more mothers returning to their careers, the responsibility of raising children and maintaining an orderly home becomes increasingly difficult, due to the simple fact that mom isn’t as available to tackle those duties during the day. The reality is that such responsibilities still fall on the shoulders of hardworking moms, and, typically, leave them feeling inadequate as mothers and as career women.

A new book by author Reva Seth, The MomShift: Finding the Opportunity in Maternity, Positive Stories of Post Baby Success, aims to show working mothers that having children doesn’t have to be a “professional liability,” and that career and parenthood can and should go together. In The MomShift, Seth documents real-life stories from over 500 working mothers who found career success after becoming parents. These aren’t your Sheryl Sandbergs and Marissa Mayers of the world, but the relatable, ordinary career-oriented mothers who may or may not have C-Suite titles. The MomShift changes the conversation about working mothers from a negative, hopeless one, to one that proves that “children and career success are not mutually exclusive,” as Leah Eichler states in her synopsis of the book on The Globe and Mail

Even celebrity moms have come forward to explain the struggles they endure as working mothers. In a recent interview with Glamour UK, Kate Winslet, Titanic star and mother of three, told the magazine, “Mothers who work full time -- they're the real heroes.”

Nicole Richie, Lionel Richie’s socialite daughter who is the mother to a 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son, told Marie Claire that raising children is a “global struggle,” that every mother desperately tries to find a solution for. Whether a mother has ample assistance or money at her disposal or not, balancing motherhood and a career is no easy feat. Still, many working mothers manage to pursue both family and work, and they do so willingly and successfully. As Winslet reminds us, “They’re the real heroes,” but, unfortunately, they are also the forgotten ones.

Read more about why mothers make the best employees, here, and why working moms shouldn’t feel guilty about following their career dreams, here

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