Working moms have a lot on their plates. They work two jobs (at least), sometimes concurrently. Whether solo or with the help of a partner, it’s a lot to handle.
If you’re feeling stress from juggling work and family, consult these encouraging (and honest) quotes from other women who have navigated (and are navigating) the working mom struggle.
Read more: Experiencing Mom Guilt? You're Not Alone
On finding inspiration to work
1. “Get rid of the guilt....When you're at one place, don't feel bad that you're not at work; when you're at work, don't feel bad that you're not at home."
—Katie Couric, TV personality, journalist, and author
2. “For me, being a mother made me a better professional, because coming home every night to my girls reminded me what I was working for. And being a professional made me a better mother, because by pursuing my dreams, I was modeling for my girls how to pursue their dreams. ”
—Michelle Obama, lawyer, author, and former First Lady of the United States
3. “I want her to know something that I feel is important. I love work. I love her and I love work, and I want her to know work’s a good thing. It’s not something you’re dragged off to.”
—Hoda Kotb, author, journalist, and cohost of The Today Show
4. “If I’m pursuing my goals, my kids are seeing me at my best. I am filled up, I am happy, I am not feeling empty, depleted, and therefore resentful about the fact that I’m missing out. I don’t want them to feel like I’ve sacrificed, I don’t want them to feel that burden. I always remember that a happy working woman is a happy mother.”
—Shonda Rhimes, TV producer, TV and film writer, and author
5. “You are not a bad mom because you go to work each day. Similarly, you are not a failure because you left your career altogether. Choices regarding work and family are personal—there is no one-size-fits-all method. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong.”
—Candace Alnaji, attorney and founder of The Mom at Law
Read more: 8 Ways to Make Child Care More Affordable
On juggling responsibilities
6. “I think every working mom probably feels the same thing: You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible—oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.”
—Tina Fey, actress, comedian, writer, and producer
7. "It's not difficult to take care of a child; it's difficult to do anything else while taking care of a child."
—Julianne Moore, Academy Award-winning actress and author
8. “The fastest way to break the cycle of perfectionism and become a fearless mother is to give up the idea of doing it perfectly—indeed to embrace uncertainty and imperfection.”
—Arianna Huffington, author, cofounder of The Huffington Post, founder and CEO of Thrive Global
9. "The phrase, ‘working mother,’ is redundant."
—Jane Sellman, author
10. “This struggle is real. The juggle is real. That’s why everyone should hire working mothers. They are put in crazy situations all the time and are forced to problem-solve. They are some of my most resourceful employees.”
—Sara Blakely, businesswoman, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of Spanx
11. “You cannot do everything at once, so find people you trust to help you. And don’t be afraid to say no.”
—Jane Seymour, actress
12. “When I first became a mother I suffered from serious ‘half-ass’ shame. I felt like I was mediocre at everything. I felt so stretched and so distracted (and exhausted). I said ‘yes’ way too often in an effort to prove that I could do it all. I’ve worked so hard over the past decade to move from ‘What will people think’ to ‘I am enough.’”
—Brené Brown, author, research professor, holder of the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair at the University of Houston
On the rewards
13. “Knowing I've got this beautiful baby to go home to makes me feel like I don't have to play another match. I don't need the money or the titles or the prestige. I want them, but I don't need them. That's a different feeling for me."
—Serena Williams, professional tennis play and winner of 23 Grand Slams
14. “I feel everything more deeply. Every action I take, I think of her first. That's a big change for me. That —and no sleep.”
—Jenna Dewan-Tatum, actress and dancer
15. “There’s something really empowering about going, ‘Hell, I can do this! I can do this all!’ That’s the wonderful thing about mothers, you can because you must, and you just do.”
—Kate Winslet, Academy Award–winning actress