As a working mother, I get up hours before my family does in order to do all the things that need to get done: I do the laundry, I prep dinner, I sweep the floors, I pack lunches, I sign permission slips … you get the picture. Then I leave for work ,and do not return for another 10 hours. When I come at night, I feel those familiar pangs of guilt that working mothers are intimately aware of.
So when I caught a recent Daily Mail article on Victoria Beckham — in which she was quoted speaking candidly about how she does not feel guilty one bit to be a working mother herself, and in fact, embraces it — my eyebrows both shot up in admiration and surprise.
Beckham’s statements on motherhood stemmed from her participation in a video for British Airways’ #Unforgettable campaign, in which she talks openly about traveling with her family. She recounts how as a child she traveled with her family to Florida to visit Disney World, and even mentions her years traveling with the Spice Girls.
“That’s the one thing that I wish I’d done more of when I was younger and I was with the Spice Girls,” she shared. “We traveled so much but I didn’t get out. I didn’t see enough. So that’s what I’m really trying to do more of as I get older and it’s something I really like to encourage the kids to do as well.”
The Beckhams are no strangers to globetrotting, and frequently crisscross the Atlantic between the U.S. and London, so it makes sense that she is teaching her kids to embrace travel.
As she told British Airways:
“I really do encourage the children to travel. They’re very, very fortunate. They know they’re blessed, very lucky. They’re in an incredible position so absolutely it’s very, very important for the boys — and Harper — to see as much of the world as they can.”
But when she started talking about motherhood in particular, that is when things really got interesting. And really honest:
“Because when you’re a busy mum, you don’t really have a lot of time to really, really relax … [But] as a working mother, you should never feel guilty, you should feel proud. You’re inspiring your children in the right way, being a strong woman going to work.”
Her words got me thinking. I am an average American working mom, between cleaning, cooking, chauffeuring, and scheduling my kids plus a regular full-time day job, I’m not sure what the word “relax” means anymore.
So, when Beckham makes a point to say that when there is no room for relaxing and therefore working moms should feel absolutely no guilt, what she’s really saying is, “LADIES! We work so darn hard, quit feeling like you’re making the wrong choices!” (I mean, if I were to put words in her mouth.)
A mother’s love is deeper and wider than all the oceans, so of course we are bound to feel guilt, even if we do things absolutely spot on. That’s just the lot of a mother’s heart. But Beckham makes a good point: We should also feel proud of the work we do and the example we set for our kids. Having a strong work ethic, building something you can be proud of … that is not small feat.
So chins, up, working mamas. We’re pretty badass — and we shouldn’t forget it.