Celebrating Mothers on International Women’s Day
You’re tired, you’re stressed, you may be covered in spit-up, be breastfeeding, trying to juggle work with kids’ schedules and life with a newborn all while running household duties—all the more reason to celebrate you as a mother on International Women’s Day!
At its core, International Women’s Day is about “standing up for the rights of women and girls everywhere.” Originating in the early 1900s in New York as a way to demand women’s equality in the form of shorter workdays, more pay, and the right to vote, the concept evolved at the International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen in 1911 when women banded together to create International Women’s Day. After the United Nations joined the movement in 1975, it became a yearly event celebrated internationally.1
Initially formed to work towards equality in the workplace and society in general for women, it has transformed to include celebrating the achievements of women. This year’s theme, #EmbraceEquity, brings to light the importance that “equal opportunities aren’t enough,”2 as there still are gender gaps in the world—a message that rings true between men and women but is felt at an even more pronounced level for working mothers.
Let’s hear it for the moms!
For some women, nothing makes them more proud of being a woman than the opportunity to be a mother. Unfortunately, while it may feel to a mom like one of life’s highest achievements, mothers often bear the brunt of gender inequity as they are expected to work like they don’t have children while parenting like it’s their only priority; they have basically been working two jobs between full-time employment and motherhood.
As of 2018, there were approximately 23.5 million women in the U.S. who were employed and had children under the age of 18, with nearly two-thirds of those women working full-time, according to The Tennessean.3 The hardships of the dual priorities of working from home while taking care of children has been heightened throughout the last few years as a result of the pandemic when kids were forced to complete schooling from home and many employees were allowed to work from home. While work-from-home opportunities and other work flexibilities have started to ease the burden, it’s not an easy feat. Especially for new moms, who are just starting to navigate the juggling.
Mothers are often underappreciated in the day-to-day as it is. When added to work responsibilities, being a new mom—or an experienced mom with another new baby—can bring with it feelings of overwhelm, both on a personal and professional level. Will there ever be enough time for the work, the endless diaper changings, the feedings, not to mention your own personal wellness? While we don’t have the solution to your time management, we can help you be prepared and ease some of the more routine moments of caring for baby.
While well-wishing family members and friends often offer sweet gifts for baby, oftentimes the mother’s needs are forgotten—after all, we can all probably admit that buying that cute onesie or fun baby toys or books are much more fun than buying a new mom breastfeeding necessities like nursing pads. But those items are just as, if not more, welcomed from mom! To help celebrate you after the arrival of baby, make sure you’re stocked up and prepped to make the transition as easy as it can be.
One thing many mothers go through is breastfeeding. While not the right choice for all moms, if it is for you, there will likely be bumps in the road. While you breastfeed, make sure to keep on hand items that will make the process easier.
- Pumping bra: For most breastfeeding mamas, pumping will likely happen, as there’s often a time where you’re away from the baby for a long stretch of time—traveling, going back to an in-office job, or otherwise. When you need to pump, the last thing you want to do is hold it in place. A hands-free pumping bra will help keep both of your hands free for other things—whether it’s working, getting other things done around the house, or taking a much-deserved break to read or grab some food for yourself. The stretchy, soft bra will be comfortable for your ever-changing body as you progress through your postpartum breastfeeding journey.
- Nursing pads: In between feedings or pumping times, you’re likely to experience leakage. Having reusable nursing pads handy will help catch any leaking before it gets to your bra. They’re easier to replace than a whole bra when you do leak, either during the day or at night. The amount and time of leaks vary from mom to mom, so the frequency of changing them will vary.
- Soothing therapy pillows: Soreness is inevitable to the body of a new mama. Whether your breasts are sore from a teething breastfeeding baby or chafed from pumping or have a plugged duct, ice or heat can do wonders to reduce the soreness. Keep these soft, reusable pads that can be kept cool in the freezer or warmed in the microwave for easing pain and discomfort.
Above all, don’t forget to cheer for the working moms in your life—including yourself—this International Women’s Day and beyond. Michelle Obama got it right when she said that “we need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own to-do lists.” This International Women’s Day is the perfect time to start!
- moms.com: International Women’s Day Is The Perfect Excuse to Celebrate Moms and Daughters https://www.moms.com/international-womens-day-celebrate-moms-daughters/
- International Women’s Day.com: International Women’s Day 2023 campaign theme: #EmbraceEquity https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Theme
- The Tennessean: Celebrate working mothers this International Women’s Day https://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/2021/03/04/celebrate-working-mothers-international-womens-day/6908580002/