What Mothers Day Also Meant for the CEO Mom

Mother’s Day is about receiving love, spending time with family, and hearing what we don’t always hear from our children and partners, “Thanks for all you do, Mom!”

Moms get to see the fruits of our labor in the form of flowers, cards and sometimes mini getaways filled with rest and relaxation. Our loved ones concentrate their efforts on us and for one day, the sacrifices we’ve made, the episodes of irrational mom guilt, and the tireless days of infinite to-do lists feel light compared to the overflow of gratitude.

For moms who are balancing career and family, Mother’s Day can carry an even greater meaning. No matter how hard we try to fight it, or in some cases deny its existence, there is an underlying guilt that comes with pursuing career and passion beyond motherhood. Whether you are a work-at-home mom like me or you work away from your children resulting in limited time with them, you struggle with feelings of inadequacy. What you do never seems enough to quiet the whispers of doubt that echo, “You should just be a mom.”

Mother’s Day is a day not just of celebration, but realization. It allows working mothers to embrace our enthusiastic pursuit of individuality and purpose beyond the role of mom. It’s the day career moms, or as I like to call us CEO moms, are able to see ourselves for who we truly are, badass women who are not just somebody’s momma but the carriers of legacy, hope, fortitude, and resilience. It’s the one day we get to put mom guilt aside to accept the immense differences we are making in our families’ lives. It’s a day to rest, a day to be the one taken care of rather than the caretaker. It’s the day we allow ourselves to receive, “Thank you.” Being the perfect mom, defined by pursuing only matters of motherhood, is no longer a priority. Working mothers can for at least one day be uplifted for all we do rather than ridiculed for doing too much or not enough.

Will mothers ever have complete confidence to lean in unapologetically? Will we ever experience promotion and career growth without mom guilt? I believe we will, but it must start with celebrating who we after that one Sunday in May. We must take a stand against societal myths and misconceptions that force women to choose between motherhood and career. The idea of balance is one that should be sought on our own terms, not by cultural norms. One of my favorite personal quotes is, “Becoming a mom doesn’t end your dreams, it gives them new meaning.”

This article originally appeared on Walker’s Legacy.

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