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The upside of being a working mom

Categories: Balancing Act, Entrepreneurship, Parenting & Family, Working Women Issues, Your life


For the past month or so we’ve been raising capital for Work It, Mom!. As a young company we need investment capital so that we can grow to a scale where we can be a real business. And having been on the other side of investing for many years, let me tell you, it is SOOOO much easier there than here.

On an average day of dealing with potential investors I feel mostly like a punching bag after a really brutal workout. Being questioned endlessly about everything from our mission (”Are there really enough working moms out there who would care to connect with each other?) to our product (”Your site doesn’t show that you have a good sense of what women want — where is all the celebrity content and diet tips?”) is difficult, but it’s also very personal. (When I said that business is personal I really meant it.) Sometimes I truly feel beaten down.

But here’s the upside:

When I come home and hear the sound of little pattering feet running in hallway and my daughter yelling “Mama, mama, I fed the fish and he ate just one flake and I didn’t give him too much because otherwise he can get sick and at school we made bread and it was really fun and soft and I need a new bathing suit because I need a green one and I only have a yellow one….” (or some similar string of excited utterances) I am on longer a punching bag. I am all smiles, trying to put my bag down quickly enough to hug my daughter just as she runs up. And then we’re off, checking on the fish, grabbing a snack, and figuring out where to get the must-have green bathing suit.

And I feel lucky and happy and warm and not at all like a punching bag. At that moment not the meanest and toughest of investors can get to me.

Perspective is a tough thing to keep, especially when things get tough, but I try. I try to remember what it was like before I became a mom, when I was just a tough-cookie career woman. Coming home from difficult days at work I’d try to drown out the stress with a workout, some silly TV, going for a walk and grabbing some takeout with my husband. It helped, but nothing helps like a smile and a hug from my daughter, and knowing (however difficult it might be to remind myself of this after a punching-bag day) that everything is just fine as long as I can come home and be her mom.

(P.S. This week’s giveaway contest on Work It, Mom! is from a company whose founder is one of the most rockin’ working moms I’ve met - Sam Reich Dagnen. Her company is Brancandy Kids and they produce really unique educational DVDs for kids. Think Baby Einstein for the next generation. So I think you all should enter!)

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26 comments so far...

  • Oh dear god. Please, for the love of all things female DO NOT start giving me celebrity content and diet tips.

    Robyn  |  July 22nd, 2008 at 10:52 am

  • Robyn — of course not. But seriously, EVERY meeting we go to where men are investing we get asked about this. ALL. THE. TIME.

    Nataly  |  July 22nd, 2008 at 10:54 am

  • To answer your investors question, ABSOLUTELY YES there are enough working moms out there who want to connect with each other. I love this site - can get lost in it for hours because there is so much fantastic content.

    I love writing for one of the blogs here at WIM. This community is awesome.

    PS The thing I look forward to the most when I travel or come home late is the hugging, sharing, laughing. I imagine this is what my dad felt when we would run to him every day when he came home from work. I love getting to experience that “Mommy’s Home!!” euphoric feeling too.

    Robyn Roark  |  July 22nd, 2008 at 11:30 am

  • it is amazing how the kiddos can just melt away stress and anger! Thanks for reminding us!! AND i love this site, there are enough other snarky ‘women’ type of content out there, this is a safe zone! I chalk it up there with (ok ahead of!!) O magazine - the only women’s magazine (IMHO) that assumes you have a brain.

    just yesterday we were all in the car and hubby was getting annoyed at people in other cars and he might have said somethign about them being idiots in a rather loud tone. to which our son starts yellling ’stop daddy! stop it! stoooooooooop!!’ (i have not yet been more proud of him!)

    and my husband just says ‘oh my, you are ruining my anger with your cuteness , i want to be angry at them, but now i can’t!’

    i think this is a good thing :)

    Kate  |  July 22nd, 2008 at 1:11 pm

  • This is so true. The love and excitement children show when we come home makes everything go away. My kids keep me sane during tough times.

    And, BTW, I like this website as is. It’s real.

    Thank you.

    Dania  |  July 22nd, 2008 at 1:25 pm

  • I agree with Robyn–if you started posting diet and celebrity fluff, I’d probably lose interest in this site pretty quickly.

    What I love about WIM is that I don’t have to waste time having to separate signal from noise. I could give a rip less what Britney’s doing or how I can get my butt into smaller jeans–and if I did, there are what? A few million sites out there with that kind of content as their focus?

    I want to connect with other moms who don’t think I’m commiting child abuse by pursuing my career dreams, providing a decent income for my family, and teaching the value of a good self-motivated work ethic.

    KatFrench  |  July 22nd, 2008 at 1:28 pm

  • Maybe you could get us all to sign a petition “proving” that we are interested in the current content of this website - I’d be happy to put my name to it.

    Keep up the good work - love it.

    Kit  |  July 22nd, 2008 at 2:02 pm

  • Couldn’t agree more. I especially love this blog that speaks to us as moms and as working women. Thanks. Another site I’ve found where I feel treated like an intelligent woman both professionally and as a mom is I’d like to know what others think about it.

    Oh, and that petition … put my name on it!

    Jana Lawson  |  July 22nd, 2008 at 3:29 pm

  • Yes, I agree, there are a lot of working moms out there who need to connect to destress and network.

    Let me know if there is any petition or e mail that I need to send, and I will do so, and pass it off to others.

    I am new at promoting, but would like to give it a go, if you would like me to add my expertise.


    Gia  |  July 22nd, 2008 at 3:46 pm

  • Interesting. I look at this site and think, wow what a great accomplishment and really believe that it will only keep growing. But I guess when an investment of large sums of money is involved they will hammer you to see if you are for real or not. If you know what you are doing and stuff like that.

    I like that you pointed out the upside to being a mom. Because often people pose a child as a conflict/obstacle to accomplishing your goals. Yet having a family can be a nice thing.

    Vera Babayeva  |  July 22nd, 2008 at 11:05 pm

  • that makes my blood boil. Those investors have no idea what they’re talking about. You’ll prove them wrong.

    mamajama  |  July 23rd, 2008 at 4:10 pm

  • I can totally relate. My last few weeks at work have been very rough and brutal as well. I just realized that I needed to take a break. My 2.5 year old daughter will often ask “what’s wrong?” and such a genuine concern, I’m so moved each time.

    Bluekarma  |  July 23rd, 2008 at 8:37 pm

  • I can relate. My husband and I have had a brutal couple of weeks at work - unusual for us - so this morning we took our 4-yr old to Starbucks without her sisters, as a special treat. That half hour made her day, and it sure was a nice way to start mine! The tykes do put work angst into perspective.

    Katherine  |  July 23rd, 2008 at 10:27 pm

  • [...] I read that on Nataly’s great post about the upside of being a working mom, I cringed. Sure, some women want celebrity content and diet tips, but that doesn’t mean that [...]

    What do working moms really want? - The 36-Hour Day - Work It, Mom!  |  July 24th, 2008 at 1:23 am

  • Please don’t change! If I wanted celeb gossip I could go to any one of a dozen other sites. I come here for the good stuff!!!

    Julie  |  July 24th, 2008 at 3:46 am

  • You are doing a wonderful job and seem to be balancing it quite well. Your daughter sounds like a doll. My toddler also melts me after working a long day and commuting. He keeps me going. I know you will be successful, I believe in you. You are an inspiration to others in this rat race. Think big…think cover of Forbes, you can do it Nataly!

    Dara  |  July 24th, 2008 at 9:30 pm

  • [...] been having a tough few weeks, as this post probably indicated. Many of the comments you guys left there sent me right through my ceiling and [...]

    An email that melted my heart (or enough about bitchy women and mommmy wars) - Work It, Mom! Blog - Work It, Mom!  |  July 25th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

  • Have you thought about conducting a survey of WIM readers? (If you haven’t already) This would be helpful to share with investors. Hopefully they’d see 1) how many of us there are, and 2) we are looking for solid content.

    BTW, totally agree with what KatFrench said: “I want to connect with other moms who don’t think I’m commiting child abuse by pursuing my career dreams, providing a decent income for my family, and teaching the value of a good self-motivated work ethic.”

    Julia  |  July 25th, 2008 at 3:59 pm

  • Can I just say you guys are awesome? Really? I am saying it. Thank you for such amazing support — and no worries, no diet tips or celebrity stuff coming any time soon. :)

    (Julia — we’ve done some surveys, actually, and noone wanted diet tips, thankfully!)

    Nataly  |  July 25th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

  • I agree. The content and structure is perfect as it is. I log in around 3-4 times a week to find an echo on my feelings & toughts. Sometimes what I need is to feel I am not alone in my juggling act.
    BTW - I live in Denmark…have you thought about the international community? Maybe some investors of world-brands would be interested in knowing that there is also an opportunity to reach customers abroad?

    Gaby  |  July 26th, 2008 at 1:48 pm

  • When I get to work every morning, I have to stop, take a deep cleansing breath before I walk in with an feeling of, I can’t wait to leave. The first thing I usually hear is, “do you have time to meet with me about (fill in the blank with whatever problem there is).

    When I get home, I’m usually out of breath from racing up the driveway and feeling like I can’t get in the door soon enough. The first thing I hear is “Yay, Mommy’s home”.

    adrienne  |  July 28th, 2008 at 11:14 am

  • [...] sucks. In the midst of this insanity I have more work than imaginable, have had a really tough few weeks of endless stress, and our daughter is now a hyper-active pre-schooler who has been helping a lot by unpacking the [...]

    Finding calm amidst complete and utter chaos - Work It, Mom! Blog - Work It, Mom!  |  July 28th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

  • Nataly–isn’t it funny how men think they know what women want?

    Robyn  |  July 28th, 2008 at 1:29 pm

  • I am having the same problem. We just launched our website on July 10th so of course there is alot of work to be done.
    We wanted to start a free, clean, simple and fun interactive website for women and we did.
    The topics are the womens choice. They come on start a chapter and make their own topics.
    Its created by women and the content is made by the women who join.

    I am not going to have people tell me that we need to have certian things on the site.

    If you want it there then its there. But its up to the member.

    Anyways, thanks for hearing me out. If you have any tips of the trade that would be super. You can e-mail me at

    Or come check out my site.. We could use the traffic and the feedback.


    Amandalee  |  July 29th, 2008 at 7:19 pm

  • [...] it weren’t so and that I could separate work/other parts of my life a bit better. And while my daughter’s smile can erase a horrible work week, if I am not enjoying my work I am quite [...]

    Should you love your job? - Work It, Mom! Blog - Work It, Mom!  |  July 29th, 2008 at 10:08 pm

  • From one “outta the box” woman to another, think like a man (assuming the investor audience is male dominated). There are about three to five things that men can’t help, and we know what they are and we can play to them. Not to be ruthless, only to play the game as they do themselves. So, here’s a few thoughts:

    WIM gives women an outlet to share their worries and frustrations before exploding to their spouses (which completely blows a man’s mind). And, it allows to do our venting with an audience that doesn’t foster the energy-burning gossip the accuse us of enjoying (hmmm!).

    WIM is a place to find products and information that help the family save money and the information is available in a quick timely manner so we spend our time on more productive “household” items.

    WIM is a place where women can go to learn valuable practical information to help become more successful … happy wife = happy life.

    Nuturing does not equal national ads. Models does not equal happy life.

    Good luck! I’d love to here your thoughts on my comments!


    Becci Hall  |  August 7th, 2008 at 8:32 pm