My story with Outbrain started nine years ago as an Account Manager. During this time, I was able to navigate across different phases both in my professional and personal life. Since then, I added a new chapter to this story, becoming VP of Key Accounts and also getting a full time role as a mom.
Just a few weeks ago, I had absolutely no idea what it would mean (or feel like) to be a working mom. I want to point out the phrase “working mom.” It pretty clearly implies that being a mother is not work, but having a job while being a mother makes you a working mom…
Here are three things I’ve learned from taking on this dual role:
- Being a working mom is a true balancing act
And both jobs are constantly in competition with each other. The best way I can explain it would be to imagine working at two different companies, with two different managers, with different schedules, different priorities, and different working hours. Does that sound exhausting? Well, yes it is (especially working day and night shifts…). Yet these last weeks going back to work have been very exciting, despite being a balancing act. The moments spent with my daughter are more meaningful, even if we have less time together. And the moments I am working in my job, I am more efficient than before.
- You’ve become a different person, and it’s going to reflect in your workplace (and that’s OK!).
I was always very sure that I would return to work when my daughter was a few months old. However, as my return to work day was nearing, so was my fear. It was actually my fear that I would miss out on the time with my daughter, miss her smile, or a new milestone! This came as a big surprise to me, as I was now afraid of what I would be missing as a mother. And this made me question how I would approach my job. I can already feel that I am a different person at work, for example, constantly thinking of my to-do list at home as well. But that also makes me more aware of time and prioritization. For example, I am laser focused on my tasks and avoid getting distracted by other things coming in. Now, more than ever, I am always in #getstuffdone mode.
- Embracing the new normal
As the days quickly pass, so do the weeks, and I wonder if I will ever be the “old Maggie” again. The one that was so passionate about work that I would go above and beyond, answering emails at lightning speed, never saying no… maybe. But for now, I am grateful to work for a company that not only supports mothers but also empowers them to take on new responsibilities without ever giving me the feeling that I am not doing enough. So this is my new normal, and I kind of love it! And actually, the job of raising a tiny human being is really the coolest of all.
This post is dedicated to all mothers. Regardless if you are back at work today, tomorrow, or unsure whether you will return. We are already working the most important job of all, and let’s celebrate silently every day and extra loudly on Mother’s Day. I am typing this in the evening, with a glass of red wine, watching my daughter sleeping over the baby monitor. Thanks to Outbrain for being flexible, as this afternoon I had to spend more time with my daughter, and now I can open up my laptop and get right back to it.