Just like motherhood itself, working motherhood in the United States looks different for every woman. Whether you're a single mom, part-time employee or an 80-hours-per-week chief executive, you are still balancing work life with life at home with the kids.
With 70 percent of U.S. women identifying as working moms, there are many ways to get inspired by how women make it, well, work for them and their families.
Mom.me spoke exclusively to these diverse power moms, who are working at the top of their game in careers that range from finance to filmmaking to journalism.
Find out how they manage work and motherhood, and why they believe having moms in the office is beyond important.
Occupation: Host of "Tia Mowry at Home" on the Cooking Channel
"I think it's important to have moms in the workplace, No. 1, so that we can be examples for our children. I think children learn the best through observation and observing behavior. That's basically how they develop, whether it's their environment, or whether it's coming from their parents or school or what's going on at home, so I think being a working mom, it sets a great example for your own child to see.
"For me, it's: 'Mommy works hard for what she wants, and what she wants to do. And if you want something that you want, you have to work hard to get it.' That's for the kid's benefit, but I think for the mom's benefit, it's very important that a mother does not lose herself and lose her ambitions and lose what her goals are in life just because she is a mom.
"Raising a child is a huge responsibility, and it's a job within itself, but you still have to as a mom do what you love to do and stay inspired because it will not only it make you a better person, it will make you a better mom."
Occupation: General Manager, Children's Media, PBS
"Every day, I am inspired by the hard-working moms at PBS. As a mother of two daughters, I know that my role as 'mom' is the most important job that I have, in and away from the home. However, I'm proud to show my daughters the importance of creative, innovative work that taps your personal passions and contributes to society. I love challenging myself and learning from other people — both at home and at work — which has helped me become a better mom and professional."
Occupation: CEO of Chase Auto Finance
"I try to bring energy and commitment to every moment of my day, whether it involves work or family. I'm passionate about what I do, and that allows me to set a strong example for my children.
"Over the years, I've talked with them about my job, in an age-appropriate way. This open dialogue has helped them understand and even appreciate how I spend my days and why I do what I do.
"It's also allowed them a chance to speak up when my work–life balance starts to feel a little skewed. I'll admit, it happens, but all we can do is our best. When that happens, I evaluate and recalibrate my professional commitments. I constantly challenge myself and embrace new opportunities, but I strive to make sure that it's never at a cost to my family."
Occupation: Media Entrepreneur; former President of Entertainment at Telemundo
"I think becoming a mom made be better in the office. I started working smarter instead of harder. My priorities became clear in all parts of my life. Instead of wasting time on silly things, or getting upset over things that really were nothing, motherhood made me have a more 'get it done' attitude in all parts of my life. It also made me lean more into entrepreneurship and into creating my own business because I wanted the flexibility that entrepreneurship could bring.
"I think when you have a child, you start thinking creatively about how to make it all happen and work, and that kind of thinking makes you a better employee or a better entrepreneur. Having something greater than yourself as your guiding light makes you clear, focused and more successful."
Nely Galan's book "Self-Made" will be published in April 2016 by Random House.
Occupation: Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians
"As a single mother of four children, I found staying true to the things that really matter kept me centered. For me, those were the traditions and values passed on to me from my Tlingit elders, who taught me to give back to my community, respect myself and others, and to have courage. These values are woven into my personal mantra that I repeat to myself when I am having a tough day or just need to rejuvenate my spirit. I try to share these lessons I have learned with my children, my grandchildren, my employees and others I am honored to mentor. I believe if I live these values and put my heart into any tasks that the right outcomes will happen.
"My children and grandchildren inspire me to make their community and the world a better place, one action at a time. I practice and believe that we all have a role to serve as the aunties, uncles, grandparents of all youth and by just sharing a few words of encouragement, recognizing their achievements or giving of your smile, we can touch many lives through our love."
Occupation: Journalist; former Co-Host of "Good Morning America"
"I think about a young woman today, young women that work for my company, my own daughter who works for my company. She has to figure out, 'OK, I'm a full-time worker, now a mom.' But when you start juggling those two, you don't necessarily give up one job. You're just doing both jobs, and it's a real juggling act for women. It really is. It's overwhelming at times.
"You know that old saying, 'We want to have it all.' You can't necessarily have it all, all the time, at the same time. And everybody has to realize that. Otherwise they feel inadequate or guilty or overwhelmed.
"There are going to be compromises that will be made in order to accommodate both, and sometimes it's not a matter of 'Do I want to work?' For many, many women in this country today, they really have to. And for a lot of others, I'm not embarrassed to say, it's because there are things that we want to do in life. There are things where we want to make a difference in this world, and women should have the same opportunity to do that as men do."
Occupation: Vice President, Global Quality, at General Motors
"I am convinced that it is very important to have working mothers in all organizations. My mother was a great role model for me. Although she never went to college, she started in a law office and progressed based on hard work and initiative. She instilled in me a certainty that I would go to college, and that I could excel at anything. This was very powerful and left me confident to achieve where I am today.
"I passed this on to my daughter, who graduated and is working as an engineer. Being successful as a working mother and having enough time for the family is tough, but certainly doable.
"The company that I work for, General Motors, places huge importance on providing an environment that enables a healthy balance between work and family. I am proud of working for GM, which has always supported me as a working mom. And, I'm proud to be that role model for my daughter and other women at GM."
Image via General Motors
Occupation: Pro Volleyball Player; Host of NBC's upcoming fitness competition "Strong"
Kids: 2 and one stepdaughter
"I think being a mom has made me even stronger at work. When I'm at work, I'm completely focused on getting the job done so that when I'm home, I can focus on my kids. We're experts at prioritizing responsibilities and we're not going to waste anyone's time. I find that companies can really benefit from having more moms on the job."
Occupation: Founder and Director of Deaf Film Camp
"As both a mother and director of Deaf Film Camp, I am very lucky to be surrounded by young people because I learn so much from them every day. My experience tells me that these young people need compassion even more today, and that's where the working mothers come in the picture.
"Because our children's safety and comfort is our No. 1 priority, we make the camp a safe emotional place for our young people to express their feelings, ideas and thoughts. When they feel safe — watch out — they take charge of the world! The fact that many of our deaf professional filmmakers at the camp have their own children makes a world of difference for our young people's emotional well-being. Also, we are very fortunate to have wonderful camp counselors that truly understand our young people!"
Occupation: Founder, CEO of Belly Bandit
"Moms bring a certain passion and compassion to the workplace. They are wired to do it all! We have moms, new moms, seasoned moms and moms-to-be at Belly Bandit, and they all have mastered the art of multitasking! And, of course, because our line is for women before, during and after pregnancy, the moms in our office help us test our products and provide invaluable, first-hand feedback!"
Occupation: Managing Director, SelectNY
"Balancing 'work life' and 'mom life' is a challenge, but I really couldn't imagine not doing either, so making it work is something that comes naturally. I get to spend my days doing something I love, and come home to the family I love.
"SelectNY currently has a female managing director in every office globally, with many women in other leadership positions. This respect, support and understanding of women who bring a variety of different talents and perspective is what has allowed me to hold both jobs — mom and managing director. It's important to show everyone in an office that you can do it all and not have to sacrifice a lot on either end, professional or personal.
"I think being a mom has helped cultivate and bring a nurturing touch to the office in an industry that is historically seen as being more intense and cutthroat. And this is super important when we think about office culture and what kind of environment we want to be known as and what kind of people we want to attract and keep.
"My daughter Pilar is the greatest source of magic in my life — driving everything I do, both on the job at SelectNY and on the job at home."
Occupation: Executive Director of PACER Center
"First of all, we have many mothers working at PACER. In fact, the majority are parents of children with disabilities or special needs, and so that's always been our premise.
"I really believe in having women and mothers in the workplace. I think it's important. They bring a number of skills and the ability to juggle and to do a great job at work.
"One of the things we do is that we are very flexible and always have been. The flexibility is important for mothers especially, or parents. It could be the father, too. I think women bring strategic thinking, I think they bring important skills, and I think it makes our society a better place."
Image via Pacer.org
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