Motherhood: Work-Life Balance

How do you balance motherhood with work and all the other responsibilities we have in our lives? For many moms, this question is haunting and leads to years of mom guilt and time-bending juggling. We asked our tribe of #realmoms from around the world how and if the balance was possible, and this is what they had to say.

Aisha: Parenting on the Road

When my son was first born I was working a demanding corporate job. I traveled a lot. It could have been overwhelming, but I decided that I didn’t want to miss those important first months and years in both of our lives, so I took him almost everywhere I traveled to for the first two years. I planned ahead and got childcare for all of my trips. I could still have my career and spend time with my baby. When he started going to school, I was intentional about spending the evenings and weekends with my husband and him and being present in those moments. Our family time is precious.

Shelby: Reframing Work

As a mom working at Starfish Project, I’ve reframed my work for myself and my family. Rather than something mom HAS to do, it’s something mom chooses to do. I love my job! I love the life transformation I get to be part of every single day! Sure, some days are busier than others, and the juggle is real, yet in sharing my passion for my work with my boys, I hope to inspire them one day to do a job they love. I share with my sons (7 & 10 years old) the age-appropriate wins and the struggles and at times ask them to pray for me as I go into something that might be overwhelming. Now, my boys do the same when presented with an overwhelming task at school. This reframed outlook on work + family feels more organic– it ebbs and flows in a life-giving and inviting way rather than compartmentalizing the two. I am so grateful for my amazing husband, who is such a partner in raising our boys and a huge supporter of Starfish Project. I couldn't do this without him!

LuLu: It Takes a Village

Keeping my daughter with me without the company's support would be impossible. (Many of us from Western countries may very quickly miss this comment. You see, here in East Asia it has become very common, normal really, for parents to leave their children in the village with grandparents to raise as the parents go into larger cities to work. Yet, Lulu made the brave and difficult decision to bring her daughter with her to a new city as she began a new life yet again.) Preschool is very expensive in the headquarters city. But the company helped me (and other moms) by creating a partnership with a preschool. The only challenge was that the children are released from school at 4:30 pm and had a half-day on Fridays. When I communicated these difficulties, my leader allowed me to leave work at 4:30 and work from home. The company even created a program for our children on Fridays. The woman who takes care of our children has such a kind heart and has helped teach my daughter a lot of life skills. She makes handmade noodles and dumplings with my daughter because she knows they are her favorite. One of the most impactful memories is when our Starfish Project Founder and CEO, Jenny, offered to keep my daughter sometimes on the weekends so I could have a break. This support has allowed me to work peacefully and better myself in my job and as a mom.

Mirjam: The Juggling Act

I always (jokingly) said I'm a full-time worker and a part-time mum because balancing work and motherhood is just so hard. But I've learned that balance means something different at various stages of our life as a mother, and also children need you differently in different stages of their lives. I vividly remember times when I felt I wasn't there for my children when they needed me (and the mother guilt that comes with it), but I know when I ask them, they tell me they know they can always count on me and they didn't miss anything when they were younger. I remember when my youngest was hosting a panel discussion as a 17-year-old student interviewing professionals from the business community and as an introduction to his first question about who was a person that inspired them, he told them his mother inspired him. He didn't know I was in the audience because I told him I couldn't be there (but I managed to go and gave myself a nice pat on the shoulder when I heard him speaking about why I inspired him.)

No matter where you are in the world, the juggle and struggle is real, yet moms are out there loving their kids and changing the world– that is something to celebrate! Delight the inspirational women around you this Mother’s Day with gifts that celebrate her unique mom style. She is sure to love the impact Starfish Project gifts make on the lives of survivors and their children, too! You know her best—choose the perfect personalized gift to celebrate ALL she does this Mother’s Day.

En Vogue Gift Set in Sterling Silver

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En Vogue Gift Set in Gold

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Perfect Harmony Gift Set

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