in their early 20s, so being a young newlywed, a career woman and pregnant
with a baby girl felt like a rite of passage. I felt capable. I felt strong. I felt
accomplished. But once my daughter was born, I struggled with inexperience
and the gravity of having very big, stereotypical Latina shoes to fill, while trying
to balance my instinctual need to advance my career and establish an identity
outside of being a mother and wife.
One sleepless night after another, faced with the enormous task of figuring
out how I would do it all after returning to work 10 weeks later, I was hit with
postpartum depression. Being a Latina I was aware of the stigma around
mental illness. As Latinas we sometimes feel monumental pressure to clean well,
cook well, mother well and wife well. There’s no room on that list for depression.
You don’t “depress” well. It doesn’t exist.
I kept my feelings of ineptitude to myself, not wanting my family to know the
depths of my struggle. To cope I relied on routine. My husband and I had
figured it out - outside of work, I fed, he washed bottles, we alternated waking
up throughout the night. Rinse, wash, repeat. It took two years of medication,
therapy and routine before the fog started lifting. My confidence grew, and
parenting became less of a guessing game. I felt like I could do hard things, and
with my newfound ambition I was reenergized to ask for more out of my career.
My daughter is 10 now. She watches me get ready for work in the
morning. She helps me pick out my shoes. She listens to me practice my
presentations and vent about my workday. She cries when I have to travel.
I may miss a couple of soccer practices here and there. I may have to rely
more on a strong support system of my husband, parents, family and friends. But
I do it because she’s watching me, and she sees all my identities. Her mom.
Daddy’s wife. Career woman. Latina. I have to imagine that the example I’m
trying to set will help shape her own identity. Because for me - contrary to the
naïve message of my college thesis - becoming a mother was a gain of an
identity and never a loss.
Boeing, San Antonio
I'm a mother of a future leader. The
word bossy or demanding is not
allowed for my daughter. She is 14
months old and already leads us.
She brings joy to our family with
her eyes full of discoveries and
I am also a leader to a
wonderful team who ensures our
countries executive assets are
maintained and safely returned back
to flight. In my role as a manager
for Boeing Executive fleet
programs, I am responsible for
the maintenance, repair and
modification of multi-million-dollar
projects. It is a demanding role that
requires many hours and undivided attention.
As a woman in a male-dominated field, and as a mother in the workplace
it's a daily struggle to live up to the standard. The most difficult aspect of being
a mother and being a manager is definitely balancing my emotional intelligence.
Shortly after returning to work, I struggled in getting back into a normal
rhythm and many times felt I was not completing the task at the pace as my
counterparts, this disturbed me. Today, I do not waste time in non-value-added
self judgement and concentrate on delivering results at work and being present
when I am with the baby.
One of the things I realized I have improved has been my cognitive
flexibility. I am able to switch between thinking about two different concepts, and
to think about multiple concepts simultaneously at a faster pace.
I get the "oh poor baby" or "have you consider staying home" comments
every time I say my daughter is in daycare. The idea of the perfect women or
mother staying at home still exists in some individuals. But as a daughter of a
mother who was a business owner, I learned that you can have it both ways.
The key is to be present when you are with your child. My Amelia has her
own library and we read at least one book every day. We also do arts and crafts,
and spend time outside. I praise those who stay home as it is a hard job. I
believe, we, working mothers, have to work twice as hard to ensure our child
does not stay behind. For those of you who work, you can do it.
I'm a wife, mother, daughter, friend, and full-time manager. My motto, the
sky is no longer a limit but the beginning.
Evelyn with her daughter Stella, son Tyler and
husband Bryan Brooks.
My life as a mompreneur in my 15 years as a jewelry designer has had many ups
and downs. Missing my daughter’s first birthday because I didn’t realize I had
booked to travel during those days made me feel guilty and sad. On top of that
my so Latino parents criticized me for being such a bad mom for not being there
Most of the times I feel guilty for not spending as much time as I want to
with my kids, because I am constantly thinking I have something pending. My kids
keep saying ‘why do you work so much?’ Although, today my daughter told me:
“mommy when I grow up, I want to be a model and a jewelry designer like you.”
My son Tyler tells me, “Mommy, I can make bracelets and sell them at
school so I can invite you, have ice cream and have some mommy and me time.”
He says “I will take care of you mommy.”
Aurelina with Amelia
LATINAStyle Vol . 25, No. 2, 2019 www. lat inastyle.com 27