“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power.”
– Maya Angelou
My mom always used to say that I was “her secretary”. Errands weren’t simple tasks we crossed off that day’s to-do-list – they were adventures. Proud little gremlin that I was, I loved the importance and responsibilities of my role, ever-present to lend unwavering “grocery mission” support to the woman who cared for me and my siblings every single day. Looking back on those days, I appreciate the situation a lot more. My mom didn’t have to turn this errand into a game, she chose to. This is what mothers everywhere do for their children – care for them, nurture them, educate them, and even manage to turn a simple errand into a fantasy-filled adventure.
Motherhood’s Never Been Easy
While my mother was a stay-at-home mom by choice, this didn’t make her job any simpler with 3 kids to look after. There are no two ways about it: motherhood is the hardest job on the planet. And even though having children is a normal part of human life, becoming a parent tends to be even more complicated for working moms. 70% of full time working women do all or most of the caregiving in their home. The infamous “second shift” (coming home after a day at the office to handle home and caregiving responsibilities) means that mommas everywhere have little to no respite whatsoever, switching from one “job” to the other depending on their location.
Added to this, the “maternal bias”, the belief that a working mom can’t be effective in both the workplace and in motherhood, complicates things even further. A study by the University of Michigan found that when a mom performs brilliantly at work, people wonder how she’s able to perform so well and still be effective at home. Or when a mom is a great parent, people may assume she doesn’t excel at work. This bias can be both undermining and disempowering.
“Motherhood is the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary – it’s an act of infinite optimism.”—Gilda Radner
Luckily, bias is not fact. What is fact, however, is that millions of women from around the world are excelling in both areas of their life. They call themselves moms. We call them superwomen.
Meet Boldr’s Elite: The Beautiful, Hard-Working Moms That Inspire All Of Us
With Mother’s Day looming over our five locations (May 8th for South Africa, the United States, Canada and the Philippines, and May 10th for Mexico), we thought a shout out to all the Boldr momma bears was in order. So, we asked our mom colleagues to share their best tips for balancing work and quality time with their children. Here’s what these amazing women had to share:
“I am a mother of 3, ages 18, 11 & 9 years.
I have what we call the “Door Policy”. Mom’s office door is the threshold – once entered work becomes work & once exited, home becomes home, with no in-between. I believe greatly in setting boundaries between work & home, allowing no overflow. The best part about being a working mom is that I get to show my kids that you can be an amazing Mom while having a successful career.“
– Jennifer Wiertel, Customer Advocate at Boldr
“I have 2 kids, an 8-year-old who is biologically mine and a 17-year-old whom I adopted from a family member. Mondays – Fridays are filled with specific routines & on weekends we change that up a bit to include family time, chores, church & outings. My philosophy, which hopefully other moms could learn from, is to always make time for yourself, do not wear yourself out. You cannot pour from an empty cup.”
– Yvonne Mabengu, Sales Development Representative
“I have 2 sons, Joshua 19 & Tristan 24. Being present in the moment helps declutter. Boldr allows me to be a mom & a leader and creates a space for me to be the best version of myself in both roles. As a mother, I believe it’s ok not to be perfect, it’s ok to make mistakes. Your kids will forgive you for buying cupcakes for the bake sale instead of making them from scratch. They remember the stuff that matters, like the “I love you’s”, the hugs, and showing up when you say you will.
My advice to other moms is to be gentle with yourself, momma bear. Parenting is not about perfection, it’s about love.
Also, a perk about being a working mom is the fact that I can buy as many pairs of shoes I want, without having to explain it to anyone 🙂 “
– Vicky Windell, Senior Client Success Manager
“I am a mother to 2 beautiful children. A 7-year-old boy & a 2-year-old girl. Being a Working Mom is one of the most challenging things a mother can do, but you always have to MAKE TIME, no matter how busy or how clustered you are with work, your children should always come first. The best part of being a Mother is my presence, be it may that I speak to my daughter over the phone or me spending the little time I have with my son in the mornings. The best part about being a working mother is knowing that I give them all my love and carry them in my heart everywhere I go.“
– Belinda Feni, Sales Development Representative
“I have 3 children. My eldest daughter is turning 18, I have a 13-year-old son, and my youngest son is 8 years-old.
Prioritizing is important in my daily routine. I am a work-from-home mom, so when my kids are at school I take the time to get stuff done in the house before my shift starts in the afternoon. The best part for me is taking the kids out and spoiling them whenever I get the chance. I love to see their happy faces!
To any mother out there, I would say enjoy every moment! You are a part of the development of your children and your hard work will reap its rewards at the end of the day.”
– Kamiela Meyer, Customer Advocate
“I am a proud mother of 2 beautiful boys. My eldest is 3 years old & the youngest 4 months old.
Maintaining a good balance between work and quality time with my boys is my biggest struggle, since my boys are still very young and need tender care from mommy (my 4-month old still breastfeeds). However, the most important thing to me is being able to spend the time that I have with my kids. I believe that taking care of your mental health should be a priority. Being a mother and working can be draining, but as long as your mind is in the right place, nothing can break & defeat you. And the best part about being a mother? Being able to spoil your babies at the end of the month.”
– Iviwe Ndzishe, Sales Development Representative
“I am a mother of a 20-year-old son.
The way I balance life & work is by making sure that I always make time to spend with my husband, kids & intermediate family. To other working mothers, my advice would be to try and be a little more flexible in managing your time, no matter how hectic your schedule might be, it’s important to find the time. The best part about being a working mother is being able to harness my skills & to teach my son the value of hard work.”
– Luzette Necio, Sales Development Representative
“I have a beautiful 6-year-old.
Balancing life between work & home is very challenging. Working from home has made this a lot easier for me & on weekends I spend my time efficiently. Being at Boldr has granted me the opportunity to provide for my little girl & also allows me to run away from her daily million questions, hahaha!
To other working mothers out there: you’ve got this & never doubt. Some days are harder & more exhausting than others, but one thing is for sure: you are doing all you can to be the best version of yourself, your little ones & loved ones.”
– Zizipho Gqageni, Sales Development Representative
“I am a mom to an hija unica (only child), Loren Dale. She’s 1 year and 7 months old.
Balancing work & life at home can be a struggle. But I’ve developed a routine for weekdays & weekends that makes things a lot easier for all of us. On weekdays, aside from the usual feeding & bathing, I often give my daughter a trivia word of the day for her to learn from. On weekends, it’s chores and playtime. At the end of the day, whether I ticked everything on my list or not, I was able to provide for her and she’s happy. That’s the most important part.
It’s all about the small wins. Putting your child to bed and getting back to work while your coffee’s still hot, that’s a small win. To witness your child say “Mama” or “wow”, that’s a small win. To receive a compliment from a friend or stranger, that’s a small win. Lastly, to receive a simple arm hug & kiss from your child while working, making all of the stress and pressure disappear… that’s a small win! My advice to other working mothers, take as much advice as you can, & then build your own around it.”
– Raisa Roxas, Junior Graphic Designer
“I have a 10-year-old & a baby due in December.
As a working mom, spending as much time as possible with my son during the weekends is imperative.
The best part about being a working mother is being able to provide for your child’s needs & being able to look back at where you started & how far you’ve come as a family. My advice for other moms would be to always have time set aside for your child/children to talk about the day, do homework together, or even just to watch a movie.”
– Takatso Mzaca Sales Development Representative
“I have two boys – Raymond, 9 years-old, and Theodore, 4 years-old.
I think balance is really tough, so I focus more on work/life integration some compartmentalizing with aggressive prioritization. What I mean by this, is that to some extent I want my children to feel connected to the work that I do and to my identity as a working mom. I talk to my boys about my work and am honest with them about the value I feel that I am creating, creating a positive perception of work in general and working as a parent. I also invite them into conversations with colleagues all the time (they know a lot of my Boldr family members and feel emotionally connected to them).
I also want to normalize the reality of having to juggle what sometimes feels like two jobs at the same time. My identity as a mother is a major part of who I am & I intentionally try to shy away from the societal expectation to parent as if you don’t work and work as if you’re not a parent…it is simply unrealistic, unsustainable & not authentic. There are times, though, when we need to be selfish and put the phone down to give our kids undivided attention so that we can be 100% present in the moments that are available. They grow up SO fast, and there is no getting this time back… so when I cannot integrate, I’ll compartmentalize and prioritize to do my best to give everyone the attention that they deserve (while maintaining my sanity).
My advice to present & future working moms: don’t try to work as if you’re not a parent or parent as if you do not work… give yourself some grace and remember that while we each do our best, at the end of the day it is ok if we mess our kids up just enough to make them interesting 😉 Don’t take yourself too seriously and grab every opportunity you can to spend quality time with your littles ❤️ Oh… and don’t be shy to ask for help!!! Nobody can do this alone, it seriously takes a village.”
– Mari Parker, Chief People Officer
We Got It From Our Mommas
Just like math is a universal language, “mother” ought to be a universal equivalent for the word love. For who else is willing to sacrifice everything for our future, our happiness, our life? Only the person willing to make a supermarket errand the most exciting part of a kid’s day. Only the person willing to come home and take on a second shift of work and caregiving with a smile on her face.
Mothers carry a unique perspective into their homes and the work that they do every day. And quite simply, the world would be a grim place without them in it. At Boldr we can safely say that if we’re awesome, then we definitely get it from our mommas.
To all the beautiful Boldr moms, we love, admire, and appreciate you. Happy Mother’s Day.