Former CFO Mom Regrets Working Too Much. Her Adult Daughters Remember It Differently

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Working moms are shamed for sending kids to daycare. Working moms are shamed for sending kids to school. We will be shamed for doing nothing at all.

As working parents struggle with guilt amidst a pandemic in which we’ve been forced to put our little ones in front of an iPad while we, you know, get work done, one mom gave us the much-needed reminder that it’s all going to be OK. Stephanie Holt, the former CFO and managing director of North Capital, a financial services company in Salt Lake City, Utah, took to LinkedIn to share how her now-adult daughters feel about being the daughters of a working mom.

Get ready, you might need the tissues on standby.

Stephanie missed many of the things executive moms can’t fit into their schedules: games, tuck-ins, heartbreaks, birthdays. She “worked all the time and [has] regrets.” She talked to her daughters about their childhood and was surprised by their response.

“They both said that they couldn’t imagine their childhoods being any other way. That was the only life they knew and it was all good,” Stephanie wrote.

“So to all of the women out there who feel bad about not being able to do it all and who are currently faced with near impossible choices—take it easy on yourself!! It will all turn out OK.”

This mom’s message was needed now more than ever. With recent surveys showing anywhere from a quarter to a third of working parents will leave the workforce due to school closures, taking it easy on ourselves is what we all need to do.

Everyone wants what’s best for our children, and now’s a pivotal time for the future of working motherhood. As moms leave their jobs due to a lack of childcare, we’ll see less women in high-paying roles, ultimately making for a wider gender wage gap and a less diverse workforce. Before leaving our jobs, we must ask ourselves: Who do we want to be when our kids grow up?

Though many moms don’t have the luxury of being able to quit, for those who do, keep in mind that re-entering the workforce with a resume gap is no easy task, and kids benefit from growing up with a working mom. As we face several near-impossible decisions over the next few months concerning work, school, childcare and more, let’s listen to Stephanie’s reminder to be gentle with ourselves. Because it truly will all turn out OK—so focus on what your kids will remember instead.



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