I’m so honored that my premier FLY Execumama is author of the wonderful blog, TheYoungMommyLife, as well as a writer, wife and mother. I can’t imagine having this much focus and drive at such a young age, and I know her “Amazing” factor will only increase with time. Read on for Tara’s perspectives, then stop by her blog for some lessons and laughs.
Name: Tara Pringle Jefferson
Execu-gig: Writer/Social media guru/PR professional in the nonprofit field. Waiting for my “big break,” whatever that may be.
Mama-gig: Married to the most patient man on earth. Mama to two of the most devilishly cute kids in the world, ages 2 and 8 months.
What’s the main source of motivation behind deciding to remain a driven career woman while raising children, as opposed to giving up one for the other?
Honestly, I felt a lot of guilt about having kids before I was established in my career. I felt like I wasn’t giving my kids the best start in life. So I vowed that every day I will wake up determined and focused on making significant career strides, so I can show them that anything is possible if you work hard enough and stay open to any opportunities that come your way.
What are some of the specific challenges you feel you face with being a young working mother?
Sometimes I get challenged, because some of my co-workers have kids my age. It’s hard to get them to see that while their kids and I might be the same age, I believe myself to be much more mature and confident than my single, childless counterparts. After proving myself over and over again, I’ve convinced them too.
Do you believe you’d be this (career) driven if you were a single mother?
I honestly don’t think I could be more career driven. Husband or no husband, I’m out to make a name for myself and I’m bringing my kids along for the ride. It gives children a sense of purpose when they have a mom who is excelling at the top of her game.
Why and how does Mantra Two (listed on page 65 of the pocket guide) speak to you and your particular situation?
I think motherhood is, at its core, very simple. You give birth to a child and care for him/her. That makes you a mother. But all of the issues surrounding that are very fluid. Each mom has to define motherhood for herself. Some moms think women who work and put their kids in daycare or with a nanny aren’t “real” moms. Some moms who see women quit their jobs after giving birth think they aren’t “real” moms. But you have to do what feels right to you, not what society, your extended family, co-workers or girlfriends say. I absolutely can’t function without getting some type of alone time to write during the day. I just can’t do it. So if I have to put the kids to bed a few minutes early to sneak in some writing before I get too sleepy, then I’ll do it. No guilt whatsoever.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
I definitely see myself a few more rungs up on the career ladder. While my husband and I are actually what you call “middle class,” I’d like to see that paycheck get a little fatter as well. I’d also like a little more flexibility in my career, having a career that works for me instead of the other way around. In five years my kids will be in school, so I want to be the type of mom who everyone knows. When I show up at the school it’s “Hi, Mrs. Jefferson!” not “Who are you here to see?”