What does good look like? This is probably the most confounding question for a working mom. There are so many public images of women doing it all, looking great and seemingly at peace with the world. Working motherhood isn’t really like that. It is amazing but far from perfect. And each of us wears working motherhood in our own way.
So, what does good look like? Good looks authentic. I remember my first job out of college. I worked in advertising in Chicago. I was in a meeting where a United Airlines commercial was shown. The commercial featured a beautiful, redheaded working mother and her equally adorable, redheaded daughter. The mom dropped off the daughter at school and then flew off to a business meeting in a distant city. The mother’s day and daughter’s day mirrored each other perfectly. And the day ended perfectly with the mom returning to pick up her daughter from school at 3pm.. It will make you cry, but it is not authentic.
My boss at the time had just returned from maternity leave with her second child. As I followed my boss out of that same meeting, I noticed that she had baby puke all down the back of her suit jacket. And she did not know it. The reality was that, despite the baby puke, she had been brilliant in the meeting. She was a really good boss and a better mom. She wasn’t perfect, she was authentic. Each in our own way, we should strive for authenticity – baby puke and all. That is what good looks like.