6 Reasons Being A Working Mom Is A Feminist Choice

Ad failed to load

As far back as I can remember, all the women in my family had jobs outside the home. Maybe this is one of many reasons why it was never a question for me whether or not I’d return to work after having each of my kids. Not only was it a necessity, since I'm raising a family in New York City (one of the most expenses places to live), but I was was fortunate to find passion and purpose in my work and wanted to continue to be fulfilled by it. Becoming a mom only cemented my desire to keep growing professionally. I wanted to do great work and for my children to be proud of me for it. I didn’t even consider choosing between work and family; being a working a mom was the only choice that made sense to me. And I think that's the thing that made it a feminist choice for me also.

I can’t imagine me off-ramping from my career to solely run my household (though I am in awe of those women who know that's what they want and go after it with gusto). Even though it is utterly impossible to work full-time and keep things at home humming along without a hiccup, I can’t be true to myself in any other way. Humans are complex, contradictory beings. I never felt I was easily labeled. Why can’t I be both a mother and a producer? Especially if my husband, by way of the simple fact that he's a man, was unquestionably expected to be able to pull it off.

Every woman makes the best choice for her and her family, and feminism means we support one another’s decisions, even if they don't reflect what we would want for ourselves. These are some reasons why being a working mom is a feminist choice… for me.

Ad failed to load

I Am Defining Myself On My Terms

I have needs that can only be met within the context of my job. While there is nothing more important to me than my children, nurturing my career is a close second. I was cultivating a profession in the TV industry as a writer/producer before I started a family, and while I made some lateral moves in my career to accommodate motherhood, I am still motivated to reach new milestones and further evolve in my career. Watching my kids grow is even more motivation for me to grow too. 

I Am Leaving A Legacy For My Children

I can’t sew, I don’t cook, and I take no pride in folding fitted sheets. I grew up being told girls could be anything they wanted. And while I wanted a family, I wanted a career just as much. I care about my work. My children see me taking pride in the effort I put into my job. This doesn't make it easier to be away from them during the day, so I just hope this is my way of teaching them how rewarding an interest outside the home can be for some people.

I Am A Role Model For My Son

We’ve learned that daughters of working mothers benefit, but I think it helps our sons just as much. Not only does my little guy see a woman going after her goals, but he also sees his father — another working parent — sharing household responsibilities that most men a generation ago didn’t embrace. This is what it looks like to be a working parent. My son has a more realistic reference for his future, if he intends to have a family and pursue a career. And I have to think he's more likely to be that much more supportive of his potential partner to do the same. 

Ad failed to load

I Am In Control Of My Future

Financial independence is important to me, even though I'm married (especially because I'm married?). I work hard for my money, and I keep the splurges to a minimum. Stressing over retirement funds is not a hot look, and being dependent on someone else entirely for the security of my future is not something that would ever make me comfortable.

I Am Helping To Normalize Work-Life Integration

Let’s repeat that word: integration. Not balance. Not juggle. My life is not about multi-tasking. When I try that approach, I just end up doing a bunch of stuff really poorly. When my kid’s school calls during the workday, I don’t try to cover the fact that I have offspring and they sometimes get sick. If we can’t show our humanity in the office, what’s stopping the world from replacing us all with robots? And when I’m home, I do check in with work, but not while my daughter is beating me in Uno. I try to save any work until after the kids are in bed, but if I do have to be on the computer when they are around, I am clear that it is for a certain amount of time, and that the more they pester me, the less time I’ll have to fully play with them. I’m done siloing the different aspects of myself; Career and parenthood can co-exist and my goal is to get everyone on board with that.

I Know This Choice Is Not Right For All Women


For too long, feminism meant rejecting the notion of women occupying domestic roles. The concept of man-serving housewife had to be rebelled against if our moms wanted to pursue work outside the home. But to be feminist is to be inclusive of all women’s choices, knowing that one-size-fits-all just perpetuates the idea that women can be singularly defined. I want to work. And there are women I deeply admire who choose not to work outside the home, but are pursuing other goals that fulfill their needs. Perpetuating any type of “war” between groups of moms is evidence of some shallow thinking. No woman has to pick a side. Choosing to be a stay-at-home mom, a work-at-home mom, or a work-outside-home mom can all be feminist choices, so long as they are our choices to make. 

Images: Jeff Sheldon/Unsplash; Giphy(6)

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills