As many parents know, the challenge of balancing work and motherhood doesn’t end when you find the right daycare. It’s a quest that goes on for at least 18 years—and sees many mamas wishing they could clone themselves to keep from missing moments with their kids. But perhaps we should take a cue for Kelly Clarkson, who’s learned the embrace the many positive aspects of working motherhood.
“I’m not going to be able to be there for everything, and that’s OK,” the original American Idol winner said during a recent interview with TODAY. “I’m showing my daughter and my son and our kids that you can do both and achieve great things.”
Clarkson says she’s come to terms with the fact she may miss certain moments with her 3-year-old daughter, River Rose, and 1-year-old son, Remy, while performing and mentoring other singers as the newest judge to join The Voice. As she wisely puts it, she is showing up for her kids by showing up at work.
Clarkson’s assertion that her career will help her kids achieve at work and home isn’t just the opinion of a pop idol. The idea is backed up Harvard research, which found daughters of working moms are more likely to be promoted at work while the adults sons of working moms are more likely to care for family members and contribute to household chores.
According to the researchers at Harvard, there are very few things that have as clear an effect on gender inequality as being raised by a working mom. They also say working can benefit a mom’s emotional well-being as well as her family’s finances.
Nonetheless, it can be hard to avoid that pesky guilt. Even Clarkson, whose kids join her on the road, has felt it. “It’s hard to be a really good mom and a really good person at your job,” she said. “I don’t want to be one of those pop star moms that doesn’t see their (kids) … I want to be there.”
That’s why Clarkson’s message is one that all working mothers need to hear: We may not be there for ever moment and milestone, but by valuing ourselves and our careers, we’re empowering the next generation.
“It’s challenging when you’re a working parent,” Clarkson admitted to TODAY.
But it’s so worth it.