Menu

9 TED Talks to inspire working mamas

“Working motherhood is here to stay.”

9 TED Talks to inspire working mamas

You're killing it at work. You're a supermama. You're an amazing partner. (Okay, sometimes you eat leftover cake for breakfast. No judgment here.) We all need some motivation to get us through the hard days, and encouragement on the good ones.

Here are TED Talks that will inspire + energize you in your career.

1. Amy Cuddy: Your body language may shape who you are  

Need another reason to stand tall, shake hands firmly and speak with confidence?Social psychologist Amy Cuddy explains how walking with confidence doesn't just make you look confident—it actually transforms how confident you feel:

"Our bodies change our minds and our minds can change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes."

💪

2. Shonda Rhimes: My year of saying yes to everything

Shonda Rhimes, the powerhouse behind 70 hours of television per season discusses the power of saying yes—specifically when she says 'yes' to playing with her kids, even when she's working so hard at a career she loves:

"I understood that saying 'yes' to playing with my children likely saved my career."

🙌

3. Tiffany N. Stallings: Unleash the mom guilt

When Tiffany Stallings gets an email from her daughter asking her when she's coming home, she feels the burden of mom guilt. She uncovers three truths that help guide her on the journey of letting go of the fears in motherhood:

"I felt guilty because I didn't breastfeed long enough. I felt guilty because on the weekends I simply wanted to rest instead of shuttling my children to get to another playdate. I felt guilty because I couldn't afford to stay at home with them and I had to put them in daycare."

​💜

4. Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders

The Facebook COO and Lean In founder's TEDx Talk is a classic in the genre. Outlining the forces that keep women out of top leadership positions in the business world, Sandberg makes the case:

"I think a world where half of our countries and our companies were run by women would be a better world."

👏

5. Nila Kaushik: Mompreneurs-mothers as entrepreneurs

After realizing how her career changed after becoming a mom, Neela Kaushik realized that she wanted to encourage other moms to do things for themselves and embrace their influence in and out of the workplace.

6. Anne-Marie Slaughter: Can we all 'have it all'?

The work-life thought leader makes the case that not only do women need to be more valued at work, but that family life needs to be valued more in society in general:

"I was raised to believe that championing women's rights meant doing everything we could to get women to the top. And I still hope that I live long enough to see men and women equally represented at all levels of the workforce. But I've come to believe that we have to value family every bit as much as we value work, and that we should entertain the idea that doing right by those we love will make all of us better at everything we do."

YES. All the 👪...

7. Hanna Rosin: New data on the rise of women

Why are women so awesome?It's a question we ask ourselves all the time 👯 . Reporter Hanna Rosin dug into the data and found some fascinating nuggets:

"[Women] are starting to dominate lots of professions—doctors, lawyers, bankers, accountants. Over 50% of managers are women these days, and in the 15 professions projected to grow the most in the next decade, all but two of them are dominated by women... We're now going through an amazing and unprecedented moment where the power dynamics between men and women are shifting very rapidly, and in many of the places where it counts the most, women are, in fact, taking control of everything."

💃

8. Jessica Shortall: The American case for paid maternity leave

Author and activist Jessica Shortall's case for paid maternity leave, outlined in her TEDx Talk, will make you mad. And then it will make you act.Before they have kids, millennial woman out-earn their male counterparts. More women than ever (40%) are the primary breadwinners for their families.And yet America remains one of the last countries on Earth without some form of paid leave for new mothers:

"It is long since time for the most powerful country on Earth to offer national paid leave to the people doing the work of the future of this country and to the babies who represent that future. Childbirth is a public good. This leave should be state-subsidized. It should have no exceptions for small businesses, small business or entrepreneurs. It should be able to be shared between partners—I've talked today about mothers, but co-parents matter on so many levels. Not one more woman should have to go back to work while she is hobbling and bleeding. Not one more family should have to drain their savings account to buy a few days of rest and recovery and bonding."

👍

9. Anne Murphy Brown: Moms on the job

Anne Murphy Brown, author of Legally Mom and director of the Legal Studies Program at Ursuline College, shares her own journey as a mother and an attorney in this TEDx Talk.Giving an overview of the real-world challenges of being a working mom, especially for those who don't have paid leave, Brown advocates for major policy changed in the United States when it comes to motherhood. She reminds the audience:

"Working motherhood is here to stay."


I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


Keep reading Show less
Shop

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Keep reading Show less
Shop

It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

Keep reading Show less
News