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So often—too often, if you ask us—mamas receive the message that having kids will have a negative impact on our income. But, we’ve discovered that more often, the opposite is true. So, we set out to share the stories of women who make more money after having kids. Our goal? To challenge the perception that motherhood and diminished earning potential go hand-in-hand…and maybe inspire a few mamas to ask for the raises they deserve.

 

Meet Cheryl Boyd, Financial Advisor at Della Monica & Associates

At what point in your career did you become a mom?

Cheryl: I was in the eighth year at my firm when I found out I was pregnant. I am very grateful that I was established in my firm and team, but we were also working on a move from Chicago to Colorado, so it felt a little unsteady at times. I think there is an unchecked message in our culture that we need to be “ready” to move to the next phase of our life- shifting relationships, taking on a career challenge and especially starting a family. Motherhood has taught me and keeps teaching me that you’re never really ready- NEVER! Life just doesn’t work that way and you have to shift away from that goal or else you just set yourself up for significant stress. Becoming a mom has taught me that instead of always trying to be ready I need to be present. Present to the discomfort. Present to the uncertainty. Present to the unbelievable joy that comes from a well-timed peek a boo. Perhaps less present for the blow-out diaper but you know what I’m getting at. I do not believe there is a right time in any career to become a mom but that is actually the BEST news because it means that when it happens for your life it is the moment for you and yes, also your career.

 

As a mom, have you experienced any major jumps in income or has the increase in your income been more incremental?

Cheryl: My income increases have been incremental since becoming a mom. I worked very closely with our team to ensure that the client expectations are being met and I was very fortunate to have support during my maternity leave to ensure that everyone was taken care of, so my income was a reflection of those efforts.

 

How did self-advocacy play a role in your incremental increases in income?

Cheryl: It is very important to me that women know their value in the workplace and how important their investment of time is to the career they are in. Time is our most valuable resource and that was a lesson I could have only learned by becoming a mom. I simply did not have the time to engage with roles that weren’t valuable to my relationships with my clients and the time I spent away from my family had a real cost that shifted the way I felt about certain roles. If you do not value your time no one else will. It is necessary for our culture to have a real conversation about the support that working families need and that is different for everyone. For me, after returning from my first maternity leave I realized that if I didn’t advocate for what I needed I would not be able to help anyone because my intentions would be too strained. This belief changed the way I work, price my services and invest my time. You know how to invest your time, your energy and your skills because you feel the consequences of that investment- don’t forget the power in that.

 

What is your best advice for new moms who are afraid motherhood will diminish their earning potential?
Cheryl: First—I hear you, I see you and if we were sitting next to each other over coffee it is very likely I would hug you. That is a hard thing to feel and even harder to admit because I think the core of that fear is uncertainty. Our culture is not set up well to support working families and a change in your earning potential can unintentionally happen as a result. The fear of this happening is grounded in a reality that caregiving gaps have significantly impacted the earning power and wealth of generations of women before us. It is so understandable why our generation still feels like this is the unintended consequence- when you are starting a family or navigating growing a family you simply don’t know what capacity you will have or what is going to change so it is easy to think your earning potential is the first thing to suffer. I don’t believe that needs to be true- I think it needs to be reframed. You are your best advocate when you have the clarity of what you want. It is so important for moms in any stage to think about the role they want to have in their family and what needs to happen to support that. Taking time to understand what you want and let that evolve as your family changes allow you to communicate clearly about how you can show up in your career. Finding the support for what you want is crucial- get an advocate at your company, stay connected to the income trends in your industry, join Hey Mama so you can hear on a regular basis how other moms are doing it or how they support you, work with your partner to balance the emotional labor of the family and stay relentlessly committed to your self-care.

More about Cheryl.

 

Meet Dipali Patwa, Founder and CEO of Masala Baby

At what point in your career did you become a mom?

Dipali: Elan was born midway through my corporate career and while some would think that would have been difficult, it gave me an additional drive to go out there with full force. A few years down the line it also made me miss my home, India. I wanted Elan to experience Indian culture and I also wanted to bring manufacturing back home to India. And so, my second baby was born: Masala Baby. 

 

As a mom, have you experienced any major jumps in income or has the increase in your income been more incremental?

Dipali: I am not sure if being a mom has had any direct correlation with the increase in my income, but having the responsibility of another human being certainly helps you put things in perspective as you are not just making financial and career decisions, but life choices for another person and they are not always easy! I made the choice to push ahead in my career and was fortunate to be doing what I love to do and getting paid for it.

 

How did self-advocacy play a role in your incremental increases in income?

Dipali: It’s important to constantly remind yourself that you are really good at what you do and that you make a difference. That mindset is crucial. Don’t shortchange yourself. Also continue to adapt, learn, and make effective decisions; this has played an important role in how I operate

 

What is your best advice for new moms who are afraid motherhood will diminish their earning potential?

Dipali: It’s a matter of choice. It’s not always the easiest one. But what I can say is that when you look back at your life and years spent, the last thing you want to do is sit there and say that you gave up something to raise them. 

You also realize that kids are amazing, and they learn from you. So if they see you are driven, working hard and enjoying what you do, then they imbibe that. The best thing you can do is to try and spend “quality” time with them and constantly remind them that they are loved. It’s just as simple as that. Everything else is your choice.

More about Dipali.

 

Meet Larisa Courtien, Client Services Director at HeyMama

At what point in your career did you become a mom?

Larisa: I was 26 and newly married when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. I was working as a Pilates studio director and as an assistant to an attorney, but it was not a fulfilling career. I knew I wanted to work with entrepreneurs, but I kept getting pulled into working with small businesses as an assistant.

 

As a mom, have you experienced any major jumps in income or has the increase in your income been more incremental?

Larisa: I was 6 months pregnant when I started my first business, We Heart Branding. I was a virtual assistant to six-figure entrepreneurs, helping them build their businesses through content marketing, social media management, and internal systems building. It was a side hustle at first, but after having my daughter I was able to work part-time hours and make as much money as I was making in my full-time job. I was working only 3 days a week and still making ends meet while spending time with my daughter in the first year of her life.

At the same time, I was a number one fan of the HeyMama community! I joined because as a business owner I wanted to connect with entrepreneurs who might need my services. Without even looking, HeyMama put out of a job description for a position that matched my exact skill sets. It was a perfect match.

 

How did self-advocacy play a role in your incremental increases in income?

Larisa: Having a baby meant all of a sudden there was no such thing as settling. I need to make sure what I was doing with my life and in my career was purposeful and was going to lead me to greater success. I advocated for myself in simply starting my own business because my dream job didn’t exist yet. And once my dream job opened up at HeyMama, I made sure to put my best foot forward and grab it! Before I was a mom, I didn’t make as much money because I didn’t have the drive to advocate for myself. Motherhood helped me find my voice and my self-worth.

 

What is your best advice for new moms who are afraid motherhood will diminish their earning potential?

Larisa: It’s simply not true. Motherhood is the greatest advantage and superpower. For me, I became so much more productive because there’s even more at stake. Don’t hide becoming a mother – it unleashes your earning potential and ability to advocate for yourself even harder.

More about Larisa.

 

Nicole Neves, CEO at Sequin Productions

At what point in your career did you become a mom?

Nicole: I was director level at a corporate job for my first child. By the second child, I was running a team across North America at a corporate job. Although I was doing amazing at my job and making great money with my second child, It wasn’t enough I wanted to be more present and not spend most of my day in traffic. This is why I started my own business. I wanted to make the rules.

 

As a mom, have you experienced any major jumps in income or has the increase in your income been more incremental?

Nicole: When I started my own business, it started slow, but then I did a major jump in income.

 

How did that big increase in your income come about?

Nicole: I was able to take on more clients and have the funds come to me rather than someone else.

 

What is your best advice for new moms who are afraid motherhood will diminish their earning potential?

Nicole: I have found it’s given me more earning potential by connecting with executives who have children. As moms, parents we want to see each other succeed. I think we can lean on each other in the workforce to hit our financial goals.

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