Penny Goffman had a successful career in finance before she had kids. But after becoming a mother, she was faced with the difficult decision of staying at home or going back to work. Is it better to be a stay at home mom? Or should she pursue her career and become a working mom? Here is Penny Goffman’s journey: Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom.
I never dreamt of being a mom. There I said it. I didn’t play with dolls and princesses much as a child or dream about my wedding day and a big puffy
dress. I didn’t loathe these ideas either. I was more into friends and hobbies and getting good grades in school. When I landed my first job out of college in finance in New York City my dream of success came true. Coming from Montreal, Canada it was a big deal to fill a seat in the financial hub of NYC and I followed this dream all the way to my office in Rockefeller Center. However, dreams are not static. They evolve through phases of life.
I met my husband six months after moving to the city and once again my dreams evolved. The thought of marrying him gave me butterflies and I did daydream about our wedding, but still not in a big puffy dress! Fast forward through time, we were married, moved to the suburbs of Greenwich, CT and pregnant with our first child. I felt strongly throughout my pregnancy that I would continue working after maternity leave. I had every intention of returning, managing both of these worlds in peaceful unison. That was until I actually gave birth and once again my dreams took flight. As any mom can attest, giving birth is most magnificent and scary simultaneously. There became nothing more important than my baby girl. Returning to work became a disappearing symptom of my new mom brain fog. Period. End of story.
So I thought…
I enjoyed six years of stay at home mom bliss with two children until my path took a different turn. At the time I had a three and six year old. I was enjoying life and lucky enough to be one of those women that did not have to work. Lunches with friends while the kids were at school, meetings for amazing philanthropic organizations, PTA, gym rat, cooking, shopping, and picking up the dry cleaning made for a very busy schedule. Let alone my job as a chauffeur for soccer, skating and dance classes.
However, for better or worse, something was lacking. I was plagued with wanting to work, and that’s exactly how it felt – “plagued”. I had it all in theory. Why oh why wasn’t that enough… but only like a mompreneur could understand, sometimes we need to feel like our own, that we can achieve more, that there is some baby out there, but it’s not really a baby, it’s a project or profession that is ours and only ours. Most importantly, there was the need to feel rewarded and praised for something other than being a mom. When people asked what I did, I wanted to say I was a mompreneur, not a mom. There is a very guilty feeling that comes along with this.
My dreams were once again changing….
I launched Jolie Gotique in 2016, a unique fashion brand bringing contemporary collections, for girls & women, to clients through one-of-a-kind shopping experience. At the time I didn’t realize I was also giving birth to a 3rd baby. I didn’t realize my life would flip upside down, yet again. I didn’t realize the impact working would have on my family. I didn’t realize the perseverance it would take. I didn’t realize how fulfilled I would become. I didn’t realize how powerful I would feel. I didn’t realize the pride I would earn from my family and myself.
Part-time, flextime, job sharing—today, women have so much more to choose from than the traditional 9 to 5. But even with our newfound flexibility, balancing work with family life successfully is still a real challenge. For moms and dads! Which is why more mothers are changing the way they think about work once they start a family. And they’re choosing something completely different: self-employment.
Surprised? Actually, you might not be. The chances are, you’ve already bought from a mom-led enterprise, you know a self-employed mom, or you’re already one yourself. The number of female entrepreneurs has increased by 114% compared to this time 20 years ago. Yup – we’re living in the age of the mompreneur!
Tips for going back to work after baby:
Set aside time for your mommy life
Having a mom tribe or a working mom tribe is of utmost importance. Surround yourself with other moms that make you feel good about yourself. You’ll need advice, you’ll need support and you’ll need a shoulder to cry on that can relate. Don’t forget about this tribe when going back to work.
Keep it organized
It’s easy for me to say because I’ve always been that type A organized personality but in this case – try it out! The to-do list doubles or triples when going back to work. Your responsibilities at home remain the same even if you are not there so log those lists, plan ahead and keep a tidy calendar.
It takes a village mamas! You are not expected to do it alone. Having help can mean different things including, family to help out a couple days /week. It may be a babysitter or au pair that you hire. Don’t be afraid to call upon those mom friends for carpools as needed. Plus it’s okay to lean on your spouse or partner. My husband jokes: “His work is his. My work is OURS.”
Remember, your new juggling act might even make you more productive. I have certainly become a pro at delegating both at home and work, I’m more able to think outside of the box, and definitely better at multitasking.
Not everyone will be in your corner. Women are expected to work like they
don’t have children and mother like they don’t work. Remember, that you and your family are the only ones you need to answer to. Remember that while it may be tough at times, the payoff is incredibly rewarding and you are modeling strength, determination, and perseverance to your children that cannot be taught in the classroom. Remember that loving yourself is paramount to loving your family, children and being a great mom. Remember that dreams are not static. Remember that you’ve got this!
About Penny Goffman
Penny Goffman is the founder of Jolie Gotique, a unique business offering a one of a kind shopping and fashion experience. Jolie Gotique is best known for its modern and sleek fashion truck popping up at some of the most exclusive private events in the tri-state area. The GOtique, is a modern shopping space on wheels catering to sip n shops, birthday parties, B2B events, and fundraisers. The collections include a highly curated selection of contemporary fashions for girls & women. Further, Jolie Gotique has an active online boutique and offers various style & shop services. Penny lives in Greenwich, CT with her husband and two children who keep her busy when she’s not working or in the gym. She is also a fashion/mom influencer who has MC, styled and hosted events for other major fashion houses such as Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor and Alice & Olivia. Visit her website. Instagram: @joliegotique
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