That woman in the business suit and high heels? She may look like she's career-driven. But on the inside, she's waging a war between working and being a mom.

Business Suit and High Heels: The Battle of Working Motherhood

That woman in the business suit and high heels? She may look like she's career-driven. But on the inside, she's waging a war between working and being a mom.

By Bella of Mama Not Dumber

On my way to work this morning, I saw a woman in her early thirties. She was smartly dressed in a business suit and looked like a lawyer or other professional also on her way to work. She trotted along in her high-heeled court shoes, a slight frown on her face. She was probably thinking about an issue at work.

Her frown was soon replaced by a distant look, probably her running through her work checklist. She then smiled slightly, as if she were making plans as to what to do that evening, maybe to relax after a long day at work. Anyone looking at her would think about what an easy and comfortable life she had. A good job which probably afforded her the comforts of life.

But if you looked carefully, you would see that woman was uncomfortable in those high heels, heels that she had not worn for over three years. Looked even closer, and you would see that her frown was to suppress her tears, tears that wanted to fall like those of her two young children she left at daycare that morning. The distant look was her wondering if her household could still make ends meet if she reduced her working days or quit work altogether so that she could be there for her children during the day. The plans were far from focused on relaxing after a long day at work, but rather focused on a countdown to seeing her kids and hugging them. Ever so tightly. As if that would relinquish some of the guilt and heartache of nine hours separation a day.

A woman who always wanted a career as a lawyer. But who also wanted to be a mother. A woman who didn’t realize she would have to choose between the two and would feel guilty either way. Guilt towards her young children for leaving them in daycare to go to work. Or if she quit, guilt towards her younger self, the years spent making sacrifices and working hard through school, university, law school and training in order to enter her dream profession. And frustration towards the promoted beliefs that a woman can and should have both when, in reality, she feels if she does try, she will end up having neither.

That woman will walk the walk as long as she can, in a business suit and those high heels. And most people will look at her and think what a comfortable life she has. But deep down inside, every day she will be fighting a battle.


About Bella

Bella is a mother to two beautiful, energetic and rowdy boys. She has very recently returned to work after two and a half years on maternity leave from her job as a lawyer. Her proudest achievement to date is surviving motherhood of 2 under 2, which she believes has prepared her for anything! Her writing has also appeared in the Huffington Post UK. Fairly new to blogging, she can be followed on her Facebook page Mama Not Dumber, where you will find posts on her slightly odd but honest take on life as a mother, her attempts to sound intelligent and much more.