New Year, Same Me
I wanted to take the time to wish everyone a Happy New Year. For most it's a fresh start but, for me, I'd like to continue where we left off. I may not have been perfect in 2020 but I am very proud of myself for getting the Freckle Faced Gus bus moving. Before we move on into this beautiful year, I would like to remind you what my goals are (and aren't!). This is also a great way for me to reflect and remember exactly how I got here in the first place.
My dream for years has been to find a way to help women in the workplace. I struggled to see how I could help women, especially because I felt like I was struggling myself. I felt like there were days where I couldn't breathe because I was fighting so hard to be heard. There were days where I wanted to rip the hair out of my head for comments made by some male coworkers or clients. And why? Because I'm a girl.
I carefully chose the battles I intended to fight. I pressed on and persevered when I thought I should just give up. I worked to be the exact opposite of how I was treated. I vowed to help others, to listen and speak up when my colleagues didn't feel they had a voice. And, yet, I didn't feel like I was doing enough. I believe my last straw was around 5 months after I returned from maternity leave: I had been asked for the umpteenth time when I was going to quit my job and stay home with my baby (thus making me feel inadequate as a mother) even though these individuals very well knew that my husband was a stay-at-home dad (thus insinuating that they did not support our life choices).
I wanted so badly to see a change in the workplace or, even better, in the world. I wanted to see competent and capable women being promoted, and have it be based on their merit rather than to fulfill a quota. I wanted women to be paid properly for the job they were doing. I wanted to empower women to stay in the workforce, knowing that they can have a rewarding career and raise a family. I wanted equality for people of all genders, races, religions, and sexual preferences. I wanted it to be ok for a woman to be the breadwinner and have a strong male supporting her by helping raise their family.
I am a working mom, a boss, and I have a stay-at-home husband who fully supports me. I turned my frustration into passion and found a fun way to educate the world about the difficulties of being a stay-at-home parent and that a stay-at-home dad is a real job. I believe the best way to curb this judgement is to educate, so I decided to write a children’s book. A Stay-at-Home Dad? is the first-ever children’s book about a stay-at-home dad. This is a fun way to show kids that it shouldn’t matter who stays at home with them – whether they go to daycare or a family member watches them during the day, all that matters is they are safe and loved. I hope to teach people that being a working mom and pursuing a career doesn’t make you a bad mom, and being a stay-at-home dad isn’t an emasculating role.
Even if I only help one female this year, I believe that I will be successful. Just to be clear, while my goal is to help females grow within the workplace, I still want to help anyone who needs it. In order to be successful in any corporation, both men and women have to learn to work together and mutually respect one another. That is one thing I have always struggled with: if we are working together for the success of the company, why does it feel like we are on opposite teams? This question and many others are topics that I will work to address throughout the year.
My Instagram page @pregnanttopromoted and blog will supplement my overall mission of keeping women in the workforce by talking about my struggles and successes within the business world. I hope to show women that their careers aren't over just because they had a baby. I will talk about the struggles that I, a working mom boss, have endured. I want to show them that they can expect, fight, hope, and dream for more. I hope to convey the message that, if they work hard and are passionate, they can move up the corporate ladder even after they return from maternity leave. I want women to recognize that we are in this together, that there is room for more than one female at the top.
I will use part of the profits from my book to give back to working moms – No matter if you choose to go back to work or have to because that’s what makes most financial sense for your family, it is always tough to leave your littles with someone else. Please, please, please keep a lookout for giveaways on our book's Instagram business page @frecklefacedgus.