Guest Post By Lauren Smith Brody
Did you know that today (October 16) is National Boss’s Day?
Here’s my take: The bosses who should be celebrated with the most cupcakes and flowers today are Boss Moms—working moms who do it all and get it done at all hours of the day, and with only a fraction of that time rewarded with an actual paycheck. In fact, according to a recent survey by Total Wireless, 95 percent of moms say that the most stressful part of being a working mom is the pressure to juggle work and family responsibilities to perfection. Do they always get it done without ever losing their cool? Au contraire, ma mere.
In my version of this national holiday, being a Boss Mom means you bless the mess, celebrate the journey that got you to where you are today and realize that a satisfied life is rarely a balanced one…but a happy one. That’s why I’m celebrating Boss Moms and how they do it all on National Boss’s day and beyond.
- LEARN THIS TERM: “MENTAL LOAD.” The mental load is the reason that I know how many eggs are in our fridge right now and how high the temperature has to be in order for my boys to be allowed to wear shorts to school (love that dress code). It is also the reason that I occasionally forget to sign a check that I put in the mail (thank you, payment apps for helping me out here). The mental load is the labor we do in our minds keeping track of 1,273,038 things even when we aren’t technically working or parenting. And that work deserves to be acknowledged.
- HOLD THE JUDGEMENT, PLEASE. Here’s something wonderful about 2018 (an otherwise complicated year, to say the least): We are officially no longer living in a society where it is socially appropriate for working moms to judge stay-at-home moms, and vice versa. I’ve interviewed hundreds of moms for my book and company, and the general consensus was this: We are all just doing our best to raise the next generation. And yet, so many mothers still admitted to judging themselves. Enough, I say! According to the same survey by Total Wireless, 95 percent of moms know that the journey to success hinges on having the confidence to make the necessary choices…and often those choices include sacrifice. Do not feel guilty. Instead, celebrate your accomplishments. It’s all part of the journey of satisfaction we’re modeling for our kids.
- SKIP SOMETHING. Want to know the best feeling in the world (better than the candle-lit bubble bath you’ve been meaning to take for three years now)? Open up your calendar and delete one thing from next week. Here, I’ll even give you your excuse: “I’m looking ahead and realizing I’ve over-scheduled myself for next week. Let’s please cancel/move our lunch/meeting/obligation/endeavor/commitment.” Another option if it’s something you can’t miss entirely: Downgrade an in-person meet-up to a phone call. Everyone’s more efficient that way, and you can order groceries online at the same time if needed.
- CALL YOUR OWN BOSS MOM. Better yet, FaceTime her (because you know she won’t mind if you’re not wearing any makeup…or if you have to leave her staring at the ceiling while you attend to the 2-year-old’s bloody nose). Whether your mom worked out of the home or not, the list of skills you learned from her is surely long and mighty. (The same survey I reference above found more than half of working women consider their own moms the ultimate “total boss.”) Did she teach you to drive (thus ensuring you can do that last conference call of the day while in the privacy of your own car)? Did she force you and your sister to “work it out between you two” (and give you team-building skills that you use to this day?). It’s vital to acknowledge that stuff, not just because it makes her feel appreciated…but because it makes you realize how much wisdom you’re imparting to your own kids that they’ll use one day. Oh, tell your mom that part too!
This National Boss’s Day, join me in celebrating working moms for everything they’ve accomplished—including the choices and sacrifices they’ve made to get where they are today.
Lauren Smith Brody is the founder of The Fifth Trimester movement to help businesses and families improve workplace culture together; she is the author of the best-selling book, The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, and Big Success After Baby. Prior to launching her own business, Lauren had a 16-year career in magazine publishing, most recently as the executive editor of Glamour magazine.