Working moms are better together

When I launched The Free Mama four months ago, I was simultaneously adjusting to my new work-from-home mompreneur lifestyle. I happily traded in slacks and blouses for yoga pants and cozy tees. I also had to say goodbye to some amazing colleagues who helped make the daily grind much more fun.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that working moms are better together.

Every since I made my transition, I’ve had to make some serious effort to maintain and expand my personal and professional relationships. Sure, it’s comfortable here under my blanket staring at my computer screen, but it can also be lonely and ultimately won’t do much for the growth of my business {or my sanity}.

So I’ve made a point to reach out to as many women as I can to further my mission of supporting working moms. I’ve had the opportunity to share bits and pieces of the lives of the women I interview in each week’s Working Mom Wednesday. It’s such a privilege to learn more about these mamas, and then be able to share their stories to inspire others.

What started with celebrating working moms on the local level, quickly led me to reaching out to more and more women I admire from all over the country. I’ve connected with other writers, entrepreneurs, and activists through emails and phone calls {although not everyone has responded}. These conversations are encouraging me to think bigger about the future of The Free Mama, my business and my family {more on that…}.

Recently I was fortunate enough to join up with two extremely influential working moms. One is a Public Policy Analyst for Mom-mentum, a non-profit whose mission is “Engaging Enriching and Empowering Women.” She’s doing amazing things in Washington, D.C. for women.

motherly
Image courtesy of Motherly

The other is an editor at Motherly, a website that shares stories to give women a better way to be a mother with encouragement and support. This week they even featured me as a guest contributor to help moms be more productive. {Pretty please, read it!}

What these weekly interviews and virtual connections are really about is forming relationships. Work is hard. Motherhood is hard.

As women, we put a tremendous amount of pressure on ourselves to be the best at everything all the time. It can be incredibly isolating to try to achieve this impossible standard of perfection.

The truth is, there are many reasons why working moms are better together.

Two mommy minds are better than one

If you’ve ever met me, you know that I’m a pretty confident person. I feel like I have a good grasp on my strengths and am self-aware of my weaknesses. In the workplace, it took me a long time to realize that collaboration could lead to some amazing results; ones I wouldn’t have arrived at on my own, for sure. When it comes to parenting, on the other hand, I’ve always been one to read websites, ask questions, observe others and listen carefully.

When I first decided that I wanted to do the Working Mom Wednesday interviews, it was selfish really. I wanted to learn from other women I admired. Find out how they juggle a family and career and see if I could learn a few tips along the way. Ultimately, every mom will choose to do what’s best for her family, but we can learn so much from one another by judging less and sharing more.

You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours

My neighbor and I have this incredible system. She watches my kids when I need to get work done without frequent interruptions for more snacks from the pantry. I watch her kids when she needs to take a shower or run to the store without a toddler attached to her side. It’s seriously amazing. Moms should be each other’s best friends and allies.

Similarly, the weekly q&a’s became a way for me not only to learn more about working moms, but also to promote their businesses and my new blog simultaneously. I just like a good win/win!

We rise by lifting others

Men may love their sports, but women seem to be the more competitive gender. What I have come to know is that there is plenty of room for all of us to be successful. We can be great without stacking up against one another. In fact, we can all help each other reach higher if we band together.

Without a doubt the best part of posting a new Working Mom Wednesday every week is when I see them go viral on social media and the comments explode. People can’t wait to cheer on their friends as they read about how amazing they are for all that they do. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about doing it all. It’s about candidly sharing how we navigate a sometimes stressful life and choosing to celebrate each small victory. Girl power!

Thank you to all of the working moms who have inspired me thus far. I have absolutely no doubt that the best is yet to come. I also know that it will be much better if we stick together.

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