“Bad Moms,” a term popularized by a 2016 Hollywood comedy, where 3 overworked and under-appreciated moms persevere to be viewed as supermoms”
My mom was and is, a Bad Mom. She managed to balance her career as a doctor, wife and mother of three. Taking the 5:03 AM train into Manhattan, followed by three subway trains, then walking four blocks daily, to work a 14-hour shift at a hospital. Most days, arriving home after midnight, checking in on three sleeping children, preparing breakfast and lunches, and repeating. To society, my mom was a bad mom, she didn’t shuttle us around to playdates, and she missed more than one parent teacher conference. Time sacrificed to provide a better future for her family.
I came across a tweet from @MommaUnfiltered “Some days it feels a little bit more like hostage negotiating with a band of drunken bi-polar pirates than actual parenting”. With Mother’s Day around the corner, for this issue of Market Place Simplified we are providing a glimpse into the lives of some remarkable “Bad Moms” who were kind enough to share their stories with me.
Rita Kakati-Shah, Founder & CEO of UMA
I have a crystal clear memory from 3 years ago, when my children were just 2 and 4 years old and I was exclusively raising them at home. I quit my job when my eldest was born and hadn’t been exposed to anything workforce like for a few years now, so I was simultaneously excited and nervous to explore the professional world again. I signed up to a local NYC networking event for women, donned the only professional outfit I could fit into, and wore my heels to feel more confident (or so I thought, forgetting how painful heels were even when I used to wear them often). At the event, each attendee had to pen her name and job title so I wrote SAHM for my job. A fellow attendee greeted me, we exchanged pleasantries, and then she asked what SAHM stood for. When I explained “Stay at Home Mother,” there and then she turned her back and walked away. It took a lot of courage to come to the event, and that single gesture was not only demoralizing as I was already low on self-esteem but solidified how so many of us as mothers feel. Like an ignored and forgotten part of society.
When the woman walked away, I could have done one of two things. As I was standing close to the entrance I could have gone home and cried. Believe me, I certainly was about to. But I was curious. So instead I looked for the woman, tapped her politely on the shoulder and asked her why she reacted that way. She was taken aback, and embarrassed. Truly. She had no idea that she actually reacted that way. We got chatting. It so turned out that she only planned on being at the event for a short while, and so wanted to meet as many people from the finance industry as possible. After we got talking, I mentioned my background – a successful career in finance at Goldman Sachs in London that spanned a decade, followed by heading up global business development in CNS clinical trials and I was now on the cusp of starting my own company. All of a sudden emerged my new bff. This is an example of unconscious bias and was one of the leading experiences that led me to helming Uma, which is dedicated to helping women and minorities find their voice and confidence in the workplace.
I thought working the intensity of the banking hours at Goldman Sachs was tough. I also thought crossing multiple time zones and being constantly jet-lagged was also tough. But oh, no, that is nothing compared to my career of being a fulltime mother. The most joyous yet toughest job I have ever undertaken to date. Not only are you constantly on call, you can never take a sick day, work 24/7 and are always sleep-deprived! Not just that, the amount of skills you pick up as a fulltime mother is beyond anything I could have imagined professionally. I had always thought of myself as being patient until I became a mother. This, made me patient. Motherhood quite literally stretches you in every direction possible. You not only become more efficient, organized and resilient, but you also become an insane negotiator. I tell everyone these days, that if you can negotiate with a toddler, there is no one on this planet you cannot take on! So, when you are thinking of your next interview or boardroom pitch, remember that and take that fire with you!
Read the full article here.