Tales of a working mom: When a full moon isn’t so pretty

Four boys of a working mom

Working women define their own success


A few days ago marked the eighth birthday of my son, Jack. When we took him out to breakfast I told him about the day he was born which led to thoughts of where I was in my life at the time I was pregnant with him and then after I returned to work. All of these memories swirled around in my head as I continued to contemplate the recent commentary on women having it all based on Anne-Marie Slaghter’s thoughts.

When I was pregnant with Jack eight years ago I worked full time. After he was born I reduced my hours to part time and then figured out I was doing the same amount of work but getting paid a part-time salary. I also noticed I was more conflicted working part-time than when I worked full time. It was an uncomfortable position to be in and one that made me feel guilty a lot. I felt like I wasn’t performing the role of employee or mother well. After awhile I went back to full-time work thinking that would be a better solution. And for some time, that schedule (and pay) gave me greater clarity.

When I had my first two children I also ran the gamut of figuring out what I wanted. I tried not working, working part-time at home as a consultant and working full time at another agency.

When I worked full time at an agency, I found myself with a 50 minute commute through the mountains and often traveled in the dark.

A few weeks into my job and I was driving back home and came across a person mooning me in the middle of the highway. I figured it was a sign to quit that rat race. So I did. After three weeks on the job. (I’m a fast learner.)

Over the years I have figured out a few things about myself. The first is that I am happiest when I am working. And that doesn’t mean happy only at work. It means that I am a much happier person all around, at work or at home. And having a happy mom means a lot to my children.

The other thing I figured out is I define my own success. No one else does it for me. It doesn’t come from other women telling me what to do or think I should be doing. It’s a personal decision that needs to be respected by all women. The other thing I have learned over the years is that life fluctuates and you have to fluctuate with it. What worked a year ago, might not necessarily work today. And that’s OK.

Fast forward to today, and I now have four children and run a business. Are there sacrifices? Of course there are. Do I make every event my children are in? No. But we, as a family, make sure that either me, my husband or my mom are there to cheer them on as they grow. Is life easy? No way. But I have learned to roll with the punches and not sweat the small stuff.

Do I think I have it all? That’s not the right question to ask. Am I happy? One hundred percent yes.

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Lisa Cruz has more than 18 years of experience in public relations. This includes working for a variety of industries such as health care, construction, manufacturing and more – from both the corporate and the agency side. Her strengths are in media relations, social media engagement, message development, crisis communications, planning, relationship building, creativity and enthusiasm. She is able to figure out how to take a national story and turn it into a resonating pitch or intriguing content. A little insight to what makes Lisa tick? It should be noted that maintaining the status quo is never good enough for her.

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