The best life advice from famous working moms—from Michelle Obama to Victoria Beckham
There are so many incredible women who have succeeded at both 'insert job title' and 'mama.'
Being a mama is hard. Building a career is stressful. Balancing working motherhood seems near impossible—but you’ve got this. Whether you choose to stay at home, have a flexible job, or are jumping back into the workforce, your new title as ‘mom’ is no doubt the most important one. But, with only so many hours in a week, you have to decide how to best manage work life with family life.
First, know that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and it’s okay to be unsure if you’re giving enough time to each role. It’s important to remember that regardless of how you do it, you know what’s best.
The good news? You’re not alone in this ongoing battle. In fact, there are so many incredible women who have succeeded at both ‘insert job title’ and ‘mama.’ (Plus, having a working mama doesn’t hurt kids, science proves it.)
Here’s some eye-opening advice from some of our favorite working moms.
Have open conversations
“Very early on, I explained it to them—they went to school, I went to work. We each had our own obligations, our responsibilities and when we met at night, we would exchange our experiences.”—Diane von Furstenberg
You’re setting a great example for your kids
“Like so many working mothers all over the world, I feel the constant struggle to be the best mother I can, whilst setting a good example to my children to work hard. I travel for work when it’s necessary, and I miss them all the time when I am away.”—Victoria Beckham
Don’t ever forget what’s most important
“The truth of the matter was that whether I’m the first lady and he’s the president, our first job is make sure that our kids are on point. That is the most important legacy we will ever leave.”—Michelle Obama
It’s okay to be selective + prioritize
“It is an adjustment trying to balance a career and motherhood for sure, but the key is to prioritize. You become more selective and work on projects that are so meaningful because you want every other waking moment spent with your family. You have to remember, though, to make time for yourself.”—Kim Kardashian
Forget the guilt
“Get rid of the guilt…When you’re at one place, don’t feel bad that you’re not at work; when you’re at work, don’t feel bad that you’re not at home.”—Katie Couric
You can make the impossible, possible
“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.”—Tina Fey
It’s okay to set boundaries
“When I started law school, my daughter, Jane, was 14 months and I attribute my success in law school largely to Jane. I went to class about 8:30 am and I came home at 4:00 pm, that was children’s hour. It was a total break in my day and children’s hour continued until Jane went to sleep. Then I was happy to go back to the books, so I felt each part of my life gave me respite from the other.”—Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Keep it in perspective
“Knowing I’ve got this beautiful baby to go home to makes me feel like I don’t have to play another match. I don’t need the money or the titles or the prestige. I want them, but I don’t need them. That’s a different feeling for me.”—Serena Williams
Give yourself (and others) grace
“Before, I didn’t quite get it. I did not really get how hard it is to succeed at work when you are overwhelmed at home…Being a mother is the most important—and most humbling—job I’ve ever had.”—Sheryl Sandberg
No one else can take your place
“You might be president of PepsiCo. You might be on the board of directors. But when you enter this house, you’re the wife, you’re the daughter, you’re the daughter-in-law, you’re the mother. You’re all of that. Nobody else can take that place.”—Indra K Nooyi’s mother to her