A job I wouldn’t trade: Motherhood

Many argue that the very first word to ever hold meaning was “mama.” It is the only word spoken in almost the same way in every language, so in a sense, we’re all universally connected by “mama.” The word goes back millennia, without changing, which is further than any other word can be traced. From a child development standpoint, m-ah is the easiest sound for a new baby to make, so it makes sense that it has literally stood the test of time. As a new mom myself, it’s empowering to become part of the historical “mama” brigade.

For a word that is so similar across cultures and languages, being a “mama” can be somewhat isolating. The truth is, it’s downright terrifying. From sleepless nights to obsessively tracking milestones, becoming someone’s mom is certainly deserving of its own holiday. I’m one of the lucky few who get to be mama and work from home, so I’m around to track said milestones and steal away for a baby hug from time to time. I get told I’m happy quite often from my team when we’re on a Zoom call, and many times it’s because I’m on mute and hearing baby giggles coming from the other room. As I write this post, my 9-month-old has pulled himself up to standing using my knee and it’s his first time doing it so here’s another milestone I didn’t have to miss by going into the office. Motherhood is a beautiful role to have and I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to have been given this human promotion of sorts, while also having the opportunity to be in this role while working from home. 

But still, I’m not joking when I say it’s hard work. This Mother’s Day, let’s take a peek at some “mama” statistics:

  • 43% of new moms get an average of 5 hours of sleep each night – this adds up to 900 hours of lost sleep in a year! (I can attest to this because 5 hours is an exciting amount of sleep these days).
  • 38% of new moms spend an average of 3 hours each day feeding their new baby.
  • 61% of women under 50 who gave birth last year are in the work force.
  • The amount of time it takes a mom to change a diaper (2 mins, 5 secs) adds up to 3 40-hour work weeks each year.
  • 55% of mothers say they want to work
  • 53% of mothers say they would quit their current job for a work from home job

As a mom, these statistics are eye opening. Am I really losing that much sleep? I can definitely tell I don’t have much free time these days, but am I really changing diapers for 120 hours/year? Obviously, yes, it’s an exhausting job, but it’s a job I wouldn’t trade for a single thing in this world. I like to work and I love my job, so I’m not surprised that 55% of mothers want to work. I feel no guilt in sharing that I'd go insane being a stay-at-home mom. However, if my job was in person, I might fall into that 53% who would quit for a work from home role. Being home with my son is the foundation of our family unit. It brings me joy, it brings my son happiness, and it ensures that I don’t miss a single second of his growth and development. Working from home is not in the cards for everyone, but perhaps it should be an option more often. It won’t be everyone’s preference, rarely is there a one size fits all option for lifestyle things, but the choice should exist if at all possible. 

No matter where or how you work, let’s ground ourselves in our gratefulness for all those that took on a “mama” role to us. As I mentioned before, we’re all connected by language and our natural instinct to say “mama,” so let’s join in saying “thanks mama” to all the moms across the globe. Mom’s do so much on a daily basis that they deserve our praise. Every baby smile, every babble, and every achievement easily becomes the best part of my day, and that’s something I didn’t understand until I became a mom myself – just how much mom’s love. Let’s give a gift to them all and explore more work from home options and help set the standard for putting families first even in the workplace. At the end of the day, I’ll choose exhaustion for those cute smiles and I’ll put in the diaper changing hours for the giggles, and all the other moms across the globe will too. So happy Mother’s Day from us to you.