I am no longer afraid to say I am a working mom.
What a bizarre thing to say. So many of us are working mothers, so why would I struggle with this comment? I’m being truly honest because my work is one that requires me to be competent and very available to my clients. I’m self-employed. I created a business with one of the foundations being the reliability my clients can have on me and the seriousness with which I take my work with my clients. I work directly with business owners, CEOs, and executives. I don’t want them to ever think that I’m not capable of being their coach because I am baking cupcakes for my kids’ school holiday party. I don’t want clients to not take me seriously because I often end my workday with enough time to go pick my kids up from school and then resume work once I get home.
I’m even a little embarrassed to admit this. I felt that if I told them that I was not available because I need to get to carpool it would take away the credibility they saw in me.
This is very unlike me to admit. Me, the self-proclaimed coparenting advocate, created a business from her kitchen table with a three-month-old baby through pregnancy and through a divorce.
Me, afraid to be really honest about how I run my life. I could justify it and say, well, I’m self-employed I cannot risk jeopardizing potential work with a client. But that’s not true, I take risks all the time in my business. I do not try to be or fit into a mold that does not align with who I am.
No, the truth is, I felt that my clients may question or wonder about my commitment and my capacity to do the work that’s required as an executive coach if I was leaving to go to carpool. But nothing feels better than picking my kids up on time. This is largely because as a divorced mom, I carried a sense of needing to go above and beyond, squashing any guilt that might pop its head up.
But today while on the phone with a client who owns a thriving business, she was wrangling her three-year-old little boy. And we needed to wrap up our call, that was our cue! And I said, no problem because I need to get to carpool.
I believe I’ve earned the credibility and respect of my professional reputation and I am no longer apologetic for the fact that yes, I am as much a mom as I am a businesswoman.