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How Motherhood Effects Women in Sports and Business

December 3, 2018

Monday Motivation, Inspiration and Wisdom for working mothers, women in sports, women entrepreneurs

Becoming a mother is a big decision for any woman especially women in the midst of success in their profession. I remember walking down our country road one day saying to my husband, “We have to have a plan for our first baby because it will effect my professional career.” As much as I loved him, he didn’t get the need to plan so much from a career perspective. I didn’t blame him for it but I had to explain how nine months of pregnancy could affect career advancement, salary raises and my own professional career desires.

So it wasn’t a surprise to me to read an article called “Athlete-Mom Confidential: How the Pros Handle Motherhood.” Recently Serena Williams, US Professional Tennis Player who had her first child in April 2017, spoke openly about the complications that threatened her life after having her daughter, the difficulty she had returning to competitive tennis condition and struggles with postpartum depression. Serena had the spotlight on her outfit, temperament and score when she returned to the courts after giving birth. Women’s bodies do not remain the same after pregnancy and it takes discipline to overcome bodily changes.

Although I am not Serena Williams, I remember trying to get back in shape after having my second son. By the time I had him I was 30 and my body didn’t bounce back as easily as it did after my first son four years prior. I remember when the boys were old enough, running around the outside of our country home to get in my runs since I could see them through a window watching television! It might sound crazy but it worked and I was determined to get back in shape and stay healthy if I could. We didn’t have the money for a treadmill at the time so running outside and keeping one eye on the boys was the best I could do and it worked.

ESPNW surveyed 37 female athletes in an August survey about motherhood, returning to sport and how it changed their lives. One woman said, “I kept my pregnancy a secret for a pretty long time; a couple of the girls that I told first were either moms themselves or I knew they eventually wanted a family, so I confided in them. It’s definitely accepted, but not easy.” Another said, “I thought fans were awesome; you have these rogue elements that are like, ‘What are you doing? Your body will change and your life is ruined,’ but it’s like, ‘No, my life is just beginning.’ It was so fun to share the journey with others.”

Adam, Tracy and Thomas Higginbotham

One of the reasons I became a woman entrepreneur 23 years ago was because I had two sons, a three year old and 3 month old, and wanted to be a mother and working professional. Entrepreneurship gave me the flexibility to be both while using my free time to enjoy sports and partake in outdoor activities with my sons on their schedules. When it came time to watch them play sports in high school, my clients knew I was unavailable during late afternoons during basketball and lacrosse seasons. They didn’t mind because I always completed my work.

Today I hope if you are a woman contemplating how motherhood could change your career, you read this ESPNW article and talk to other working mothers who made the decision and made their lives the way they wanted it to be. I can tell you now with a son who is an Orthopedic Surgical Physician Assistant working in an all woman’s sports practice for a female surgeon, you might just influence your children beyond your own understanding while keeping yourself in the workplace and healthy.

Right now I can go out and run without worrying about my sons being cared for, but I miss those days when I had to juggle work, running and motherhood. If women make their lives the way they want them during motherhood, all the other things we love to do in our careers and lives come right back. Love your life today!

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