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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."


This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

This article was sponsored by Highlights. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

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