The Generation of The Multitasking Mama
Elite Daily recently published a piece entitled, The New Face of Motherhood: Young, Cool Moms Who are Totally Killing It. My friends and I could completely relate to the brief article and photos, so I wanted to expand upon it a bit. This post is dedicated to each and every one of the incredible multitasking mamas I know who inspire me! You make it look easy, but we all know it is anything but. I love you all.
Motherhood has become, dare I say it, chic. Today, images of beautiful, accomplished, well-dressed women, with babies in tow are abundant (just visualize Victoria Beckham strutting through LAX, baby Harper on her hip, while wearing 7-inch Loubs), but such wasn’t always the case. When I was growing up, being a "stay-at-home mom” meant your life consisted solely of bottles, homework, soccer games, and ill-fitting mom jeans (sorry, Mom). It’s not that women in our parents' generation didn’t have vast interests aside from motherhood. Society just didn’t encourage women to pursue these interests while being a mother. My mom wanted to go back to work after my older brother was born, but she wanted to be around for him too. There was really no such thing as a part time job, or a flexible job that allowed women to work remotely. Once you had a baby, your identity was pigeon-holed as “mother.” Countless women put their higher educations, creative passions, and drive to succeed in the professional world aside to be mommies. Many were happy to do so, but many were resentful…especially after their children had grown up and moved on.
These days motherhood looks a lot different. Generation-Y is full of ambitious women who want to have an identity outside of just “mommy” and society is accommodating our needs. Maybe the celebrity culture is partly to thank with proud hands-on moms like Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba and Jennifer Garner (the list goes on and on…) who flaunt their love for their children while still pursuing their dreams and career goals. I have plenty of friends who work full time as doctors, lawyers, nurses, and teachers, who manage to be incredibly involved moms, and still pursue other interests, though I’m not sure when or if they ever sleep.
I also have numerous friends who work part time, or have started their own businesses that allow them to have more flexible schedules. I personally manage social media for a fashion PR company, which allows me to work remotely, so I can be home with my daughters and work on my blog. In my immediate sphere of moms, I know 2 caterers, 3 graphic designers, 3 interior designers, an artist, and a lifestyle blogger. These moms are all designing their own career paths that allow them to be home with their kids, but still have an identity and income of their own, which I think is incredibly impressive.
Additionally, I know lots of “stay-at-home moms.” I know I live in Manhattan, but I am pretty positive that the definition of “stay-at-home mom” has undergone a nationwide makeover. While these moms may not have careers, they have passions and talents that are not falling by the wayside. They train for marathons, they cook gourmet meals and make their own juices, they paint, they go to music festivals, and yes, they shop and stay up-to-date with the chicest trends. Sometime within the last two decades, frumpy mom jeans got replaced by high-rise Frame Denim flares and tailored Rag & Bone overalls.
When I had my first baby, my own mom was adamant that I not give up the passions that I had before motherhood. She constantly reminds me that "to be more of a mom, you have to be more than a mom.” Having interests outside of our children, whether or not they are career driven, makes us better parents and better role models for our children. Exposing our kids to these interests, by including them, is a wonderful way to merge our identities as both “mom," and "more-than-a-mom." My friend Julie is a wonderful artist and paints with her sons, my sister-in-law trained for her races by running 12 miles every Sunday with the baby jogger stroller, my friend Adi lets her son pick the farm-fresh produce for their gourmet dinners, my friend Lauren b’jorns her baby to concerts in the park, my friend Jenna, who never misses a good party, takes her baby to soirees at Southampton Social Club, and I brought my daughter to New York Fashion Week. While balancing everything can feel overwhelming, as I discussed previously, we are so lucky to live in a time and place where we have the freedom to do it all. So let’s have our donut, and eat it too, and maybe even share a bite with the babies.