We recently celebrated another Mother’s Day, and we showered the mother figures in our lives with our appreciation for everything that they’ve done for us. From moms, grandmas, aunts, big mamas, and all the wonderful ladies in between, we recognized the sacrifices they gave in order to make us the people we are today. For some women, being a mother comes natural. It’s all they wanted to do in life and they’re amazing at it. For other ladies, making the decision to share your body with another human being for 9 months, and then being responsible for them for at least the next 18 years is more than they’d like to bargain for. So is it possible to have a meaningful career and still be a great mother?
Black Enterprise interviewed several professional women about child bearing, life balance and family planning choices. 33-year-old Summer Alexander became a mom at 17, and went from high school drop out to college graduate and mom-preneur.
Being home was a breath of fresh air because I’m passionate about my children. I kept my mind active by being in school, and the energy of my household changed from one of the same day-to-day routine to a much more peaceful environment. My children were and still are happy to have me at home. Also by the time I when back to school and was starting my business, I was married and had just recently given birth to our son who has never attended daycare.
35-year-old Deanna Kimberly Burell is enjoying life as a single entrepreneur and author, but has felt the pressure to have a child since her “clock is ticking.” Deanna is standing by her decision to wait until the timing is right.
I would say that I made a conscious decision that I did not want to enter into motherhood as a single mother. I have the utmost respect for all single mothers because being the primarily caregiver is a lot of work. Personally, I decided that raising a child in a one-parent household is not the kind of responsibility that I can handle. I want to raise my child like I was raised: with two loving parents in the household. Until I find a man that I want to marry and have a child with, I decided instead to focus on succeeding at my career.
28-year-old divorced mom of three, Jennifer K. Davis, handles most of her business while her children are at school, but as many moms know, sometimes your kids’ needs intertwine with mommy’s work time.
Whenever I had business meetings or phone calls, I would conduct them while my kids were at school, but if business was on the weekend, I brought my children along. I’d tell everyone, up front, that I’m a single mother trying to make this happen, so from time to time I might bring my child with me or you might hear a scream for “˜Mommy’ in the background. Most of the people I came in contact with were very supportive, very empathetic and understood and loved my passion.
51-year-old entrepreneur Jill Williams is no stranger to sacrifice. In order to provide for her daughter, sometimes she had to miss out on events in order to earn extra money.
I think my biggest challenge of balancing my daughter’s needs while pursuing my career was missing out on events that were important to her. She was a cheerleader in high school, and I missed many of her games.You can’t imagine the guilt I felt, but I had to keep a roof over our heads.
So can you have it all? It depends on your situation. What’s your situation like? Are you a SAHM, a woman who has a 9-5 and also holds the full time position as mom, or are you waiting to build your family after your career goals are met?