Becoming a Mother can be Good for Your Career

When I was pregnant, headlines such as Children Hurt Women’s Earnings, but Not Men’s (Even in Scandinavia) kept popping up in my feed. This was not very encouraging – but it also wasn’t surprising. Women face discrimination in many areas of life, and returning to work after having a baby is no exception.

Have you heard of the Motherhood Penalty?

The Motherhood Penalty refers to the disadvantages women with children face in the workplace – including being paid less than working fathers and women without children.

And it doesn’t stop there. Working mothers are less likely to get hired and promoted, and the recommended salaries are lower. They are also perceived as less competent and less committed to their work. Working fathers, on the other hand, seem to benefit from being a parent by being perceived as more committed. It also seems to be more acceptable for men with children to be late for work.

Having been a mother now for over a year, I really don’t see why working mothers should be discriminated in the workplace. To me, it is obvious that motherhood has made me better at what I do. I wish there was more awareness of how being a mother can help you in your career.

Regardless of whether you are working from home, working for a company, have your own business or work in academia, being a mother can bring value to your career.

1. You learn to work smarter.
As a working mother, you will master time management. Time is always short, and things need to get done.

2. You learn to adjust and solve problems quickly.
No matter how good you are at planning, you will encounter unexpected problems that need solving – fast. This skill is useful in all aspects of life.

3. Your patience grows.
As a mother, you know that good things take time. If you find something worthy of your time, you’ll be willing to wait for it.

4. You learn to delegate.
If you, like me, used to be the kind of person who took on too many tasks, motherhood teaches you not to do this – you simply don’t have the time.

5. Your priorities change.
Perhaps you start to reconsider your previous life and career choices, or maybe you decide to change career altogether. Having a child is indeed life-changing.

6. Being a mother could make you more ambitious.
Because of your lack of time, you might start to avoid certain tasks and realize that you only have time to do the things that take you forward.

I ask all working mothers to emphasize that being a mother can make you better at what you do for a living.

Don’t hide an employment gap due to having a baby in your CV. Instead, put it out there and explain how it has changed you and improved your performance.

Motherhood is challenging, for sure, but it can also be incredibly empowering. Giving birth and raising another human being gave me a new type of confidence. It made me feel like I could do anything.

As a new mother, you will get a crash course in life and this little human will train you in ways you can never expect. Motherhood made me stronger, more creative and ambitious. I thought I was tough before, but motherhood made me rock hard. If you decide to become a mother, don’t let anyone tell you it will hold you back in your career.

Chrissy’s Birth Story: a new kind of confidence

In the latest episode of the Positive Birth Story Podcast, Chrissy talks about giving birth to her first child. She learns that textbooks aren’t always right and not all first-time moms have long births.

The whole process was much faster than Chrissy had anticipated and left her with a newfound confidence in herself.

“I’m really really happy to share my story with other people so that they don’t assume that birth has to be scary, or that birth has to be complicated. Sometimes it’s not. And sometimes even if it is complicated, it’s still beautiful.”


The Positive Birth Story Podcast features empowering & positive stories about birth. Swedish midwife Åsa Holstein shares her in-depth knowledge of birth and speaks to brave women who share their personal stories. This is a podcast with women, for women about the super power that resides in all of us.

Find all episodes of The Positive Birth Story Podcast here.

Acne Acceptance, Self-Love & Solidarity on Instagram

I’m 19 and have struggled with acne for almost 10 years. I’ve never met anyone that looks the way I do and felt really alone growing up. At times, it has been soul destroying to live with.

My skin problems are a result of having Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – a condition that affects up to one in 10 women and has really taken its toll on my life.

In the last few years, I have been focusing heavily on trying to accept and love the way I look.

It’s very difficult, as my scarring is so severe and I get stares, questions and nasty comments from so many people. I absolutely hate when people stare and whisper in public places about my skin, or offer their opinions and tips on products they think would help. If I had a pound for every time someone suggests a miracle product from Lush I would be a millionaire!

I’ve had acne for as long as I can remember. I can’t remember what my skin looks like without it.

For a long time, I felt that bad skin was the end of the world – especially in school. I felt so rubbish about myself all the time and often felt alone and frustrated due to the way I was treated. People I considered friends would make jokes about my skin and bring me down at any opportunity.

It felt like I had nobody to turn to when I was feeling down. I can see now that the people I was surrounded by were toxic and unhelpful in my journey towards acceptance. I realised that far too late – once the damage was already done.

It has taken me a really long time to accept the way my skin is.

For years, I was unable to go out in public without makeup out of sheer embarrassment. Today, I can go about my daily life with very little notice of it. I still have bad days when I hate my skin but they are becoming few and far between.

I developed an interest in makeup about 4 years ago due to needing and wanting to cover my skin. More recently, I have created an Instagram account to show my skin journey. I just want to try and help people learn to love the way they look no matter what flaws they may have, and to help people build their confidence.

With @abis_acne, I want to show the world that acne does not define you. Acne doesn’t change you as a person in any way shape or form, and it isn’t permanent.

From my own experience, I know how mentally challenging it can be to live with acne. I made the instagram for anyone that feels underrepresented, especially in the age of social media. It’s a reminder that you aren’t alone and that your skin does not define you or alter your level of beauty.

On some days I feel like I’m at my wits end. It’s so disheartening when you think you are getting places and then things get worse. The stares and questions are bad enough, but I’ll never understand people who grimace at the sight of my skin or have something rude to say.

A few weeks ago, somebody pulled up to me in traffic. They made me roll my car window down so they could tell me my skin was “disgusting” and I “shouldn’t expose people to the sight of it”. This wrecked me and really hurt me on a deeper level. It was completely unprovoked and just an outright awful experience.

Over time, I’ve learned to brush people’s opinions off. I’ve often edited my social media pictures or used filters to cover up my skin and make it look better than it actually is. However, I have come to realise that nobody is walking around looking airbrushed. Everyone has their flaws and nobody looks like an Instagram model.

I’m learning to stop comparing myself to the absurd standards which are promoted within the beauty industry.

I try not to let my acne stop me from doing things or achieving certain things, but it is easier said than done. Obviously, I look different to most people I know and to be at peace with this has taken me a long time. Even now, I will admit it stops me from meeting new people.

Through Instagram, I’m starting to find people I can relate to and chat to about our experiences and feelings. Finding new friends and the lovely people I have encountered so far is heart warming. I definitely think my confidence has risen since I started the account. It’s helping me to just love myself a bit more and appreciate that this is my skin and I have to own it!

By sharing my own experience, I hope I can at least help one person. If I can, that’s my job done.

In Conversation with Beverly Nkirote Mutwiri

Beverly Nkirote Mutwiri is a sexual and reproductive health and rights advocate from Kenya. She speaks to Girls’ Globe about the challenges she has encountered as a young woman in a patriarchal society.

“In many SRHR spaces we have male dominancy, and at times it can be very intimidating, especially to a young woman.”

This video was made possible through a generous grant from SayItForward.org in support of women’s advocacy messages.

If you liked this post, we think you’ll love our interviews with KingaWinfredScarlett, Natasha and Tasneem, too!

Can we Redefine the Definition of a Woman?

The emancipation of girls and women is a rallying cry, opposing the societal conservatism that impedes on the rights of women.

It is, however, still devastating to me that as a woman, I really can’t share my opinion truthfully and openly concerning the issues I feel are a bottleneck to my wellbeing.

It’s so hard to substantiate my case further without accusations levelled against me that I am being emotional, angry and inconsiderate.

Social construction has been unfavourable to women over the years in such a way that we spend our girlhoods being fed with ideologies that glorify silence as the best option for us. If someone steps on your toes, society expects you not to respond because ‘good women don’t fight back’. This is a senseless dogma which perplexes me –  how long should women remain silent, allow themselves to be walked over and continue to be subjugated?

“Women are supposed to be feminine, soft and less aggressive,” people tell me! This is a fallacy, and doesn’t come anywhere near how I see the definition of a woman.

Melinda Gates has noted that “a woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman.” For me, this quote summarizes what it means to be a woman.

To be a woman does not mean that you are a doormat everyone can tread all over. Being a woman means you can be as aggressive as you want, speak as loudly as you want, fight for what is right, show all of the tendencies associated with masculinity – and still be a woman.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once stated: “of course I’m not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.” As women, we need to build one another up so that we can navigate and eradicate powerful ideologies of male chauvinism.

If a woman stands for something and commits her mind to it, she has no time for negativity or what society will think about her actions. Today, in the 21st century, a woman can be a trend-setter and a policy maker. A woman doesn’t condone the ‘pull her down’ mentality, instead she pulls other women up. A woman assures other women that there’s room for them too at the top. That is the definition of a woman!

Why She Leaves: Music for Advocacy

This is an anthem for women who’ve made up their minds. They’ve had enough of putting up with a relationship that was emotionally, physically, sexually or financially abusive. Maybe it was all of those things. Or maybe their partners were dismissive and unloving, depleting rather than strengthening them. Maybe it was just too much work. In any case, these women are tired, they’ve given too much and they’re fed up of being disrespected. The title of ANML’s song says it all – It’s Over.

ANML, an LA based and Canadian born singer, songwriter, producer and advocate, feels a person leaves a relationship “when it becomes unfulfilling or unbearable.” She tells me, “I see us all as animals, and I watch other species as an example. They bond. They stay together. So to be in a place where it’s time to let go, your needs are not being met.

ANML emphasises the need to discuss what abuse looks like more openly: “This is different for everyone but it takes a lot of shit until we let go. And we shouldn’t have a high threshold for shit.” She highlights the importance of being educated about abuse so that girls and women have the power to choose what they will do in any situation they might find themselves in. “We should know the signs of abuse so we’re able to decide. We should understand this better.

The video for It’s Over – a poignant display of liberation and self-love – has received over one million hits. ANML says the women in the video are not actors: “Some were in abusive relationships, some needed to say goodbye. I wanted to create a platform for women to talk about their experiences.

The video is raw in other aspects, too. ANML says there were no enhancements, no make-up, no frills. She adds, “It was just the way it was shot. We’re all real people.” In fact, she originally tried shooting professionally, but the video we see -filmed on her birthday in her bedroom the night before moving to L.A. – is the version she found to be most authentic. “So that’s how the video was made. To weave stories together.”

To tackle a problem as systemic and pervasive as gender violence and abuse, we need advocacy that spreads throughout every sector of our society – including the arts. Music is a powerful and emotive form of advocacy, and the potential for artists to create widespread changes in attitudes and behaviour seems unlimited. Show your love for ANML’s music on Soundcloud, Facebook or Twitter.