Working Moms Make Good Role Models for Their Daughters

Mom Moment 25

mom and daughterBeing a girl is hard. Some are barely out of pre-school when they realize there are mean girls and encounter body image and self-esteem issues. It's frightening, isn't it.

We see it happening and know exactly what they are going through because we went through it too. It's hard watching, wondering how to make growing up easier.

So when I recently came across a blog on Mommyish.com about a mother's desperate attempt to find positive female role models for her young daughter, it got my full attention. She had spent weeks trying to find a female firefighter or police officer to show her child that she could do and be anything she wanted. I was certainly touched by the effort. Then I thought, why is she looking for some random lady for her kid to admire? Shouldn't she be the woman her daughter looks up to?

I think the most important role model isn't some person in a uniform plucked off the street. Yes, it's an admirable example of a woman succeeding in the male-dominated workforce. But it's only part of the picture. That image alone isn't enough inspiration to help a young girl climb over all the hurdles she will face. Some children need the kind of inspiration that can only come from seeing someone close to them beat the odds or reach a hard-won dream. That is the most valuable lesson we can give girls desperate for a mentor.

For me, the most significant inspiration I had growing up was my own mother. She isn't a cop, CEO, political leader, or titan of industry. She's a therapist. It's a career she loves and one that didn't come easy. During my childhood, I watched her work her way through college and then grad school, all while taking care of a family and working full time. She has always been smart, tenacious, hardworking, and determined. Skills I learned by seeing her every day of my life. She was my hero -- not because she ran into burning buildings or had her own clothing line. She was someone I looked up to because she had a goal and never gave up on it even when things got tough.

For a kid like me, a working mom was the best example I could've had. I have often turned to my mother's experiences as a guiding force during changes and hiccups in my own career path. Now that said, not every girl needs that particular type of example. But if your daughter is desperate for someone to look up to -- and is looking past you in the process -- that should give you pause.

We should aim to fill that void. It may be easier for career-driven moms, but I think there are ways to demonstrate that drive, determination, and gumption even if you aren't jetting off to the office every day. Show her your passion, share the ups and down, and the victories (no matter how big or small). It could be the example your daughter will learn from for the rest of her life

Who do you think is the ideal role model for young girls?


Image via dr_tr/Flickr

girls, jobs & money

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jhslove jhslove

I don't think it really matters whether a mom works outside the home or not as long as she's found a role that fulfills and satisfies her, and she's happy. I grew up with a working mother, and now I'm one myself--I love my career and, just as I benefited from having a mom who was happy with her work, I think my own daughter will benefit as well. But I have friends who are stay-at-home moms and love what they do, and their kids benefit as well.

the4m... the4mutts

If a woman isn't a crack whore, showers daily, keeps her house clean *or pays someone to do it* and is a respectful, honest individual, then THAT should be what you have your daughters look up to. All the average, everyday women, including yourself, that she comes across. Working, sahm, disabled, married, single mother, no kids, these things don't matter as long as they're good people, good to your kid, and your kid pays attention to them.

booba... boobarandbell

my mom is the best role model me AND my brothers had. And she was a sahm. It's not about what your parents do when they are not with their children, it's about what they do, who they are, time they give, and morals they teach when WITH their children.

FaithNco FaithNco

Well Said. Thank you.

PinkJane PinkJane

A mom doesn't need to work to be a good role model. Any good mother is a good role model. Get over the 'workrin vs not working mom' thing

nonmember avatar Lisa

If you don't have your own career then you are teaching your daughters that they must rely on someone else for income. You can be a sahm AND have a career. Your children are at home only for a very short time. As they get older, lead by example. I have seen too many friends with amazing potential hide behind "being a mom" when they should take some risks in life and show the world what they are made of!

dusky... dusky_rose

I hope that I am a good example to my daughters.

Bmat Bmat

I'm not sure. I like to think that a good teacher is a good role model.

Kayla... KaylaMillar

I hope that my daughter finds me to be a good example

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