Celebrating Avaya Working Moms This Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is this Sunday and many countries around the world will take part in a formal celebration of their moms, or mom figures. We’re celebrating our Avaya working moms by profiling several of our female professionals throughout the month of May. These women have managed to strike their perfect balance between motherhood and work. I underline “their” because there isn’t only one way to strike balance (and don’t let anyone tell you there is). How you achieve balance depends on how you define it in your own life. I’ve learned that by supporting working moms, and by being one myself.
For female professionals who choose to have a child, inevitably there’s a decision to make between maternity leave and permanent leave, and boy does society have a lot to say about both. The pressures and unsolicited opinions can make this decision painfully harder than it needs to be. And, it’s oftentimes easy to become overwhelmed by emotion and guilt.
My advice is this: do what works best for your family, and no one knows what that is better than you. And when you make the decision, be at peace with it. I’ve never once felt guilty or regretted my choice about being a working mom. That’s not to say I didn’t feel sad when I missed some events and firsts, even a few lasts, but when I couldn’t be there, my husband was, and I was never more than a phone call away. My children knew this and they were always incredibly supportive, understanding and even encouraging. You see, when you have positive and honest dialogue at home about work and balance, your kids will become your biggest champions, and your family will thrive.
Which leads me to my next point: more and more studies are showing that a working mom brings educational and social benefits for children of both sexes. This isn’t to say that children don’t also benefit when their parents spend time with them, they do. But research shows that children of working parents also accrue benefits like a greater understanding of gender equality. They also tend to be high achievers in school and have less depression and anxiety.
Listen, I became a working mom in 1991. This was before the advent of cell phones (much less smartphones), the Internet, social media, mobile devices like laptops, even email! And companies weren’t anywhere as keen as they are today to help working moms find balance. We were pretty much left to our own resources. It has been absolutely mind blowing to see this evolve, and to the betterment of female professionals and their families.
Strong companies now partner with their working moms to help them achieve the goal of work-family balance through flexible work arrangements and technology like smartphones, chat, email, videoconferencing and other innovative mobile communications that are literally transforming how and where we work. It’s becoming easier every day for female professionals to have it all, as they say, and that’s because we’ve earned it. We’ve shown businesses around the globe that it’s not a detriment to hire females who also happen to juggle the responsibilities of parenthood. We can do both—seamlessly and really well—through strong support systems, commitment and creativity, as Nati, Sara, Patti, Stacey Lee, Michele, Poorani and the rest of our Avaya working moms demonstrate flawlessly every single day. #MacAndCheeseAndMacBooks