These 25 women have been selected for our list because they have reached the top of their fields and they share their experience and their lives in raw form through multiple daily tweets. They are prolific, personal and inspiring – all have children and demanding careers.
Today, most moms are working moms and more than 40% of moms are the primary breadwinners in their families – a number that has quadrupled since 1960. The media has not yet caught up with this reality.
If you type the term “working mom” into Google images you will see photo after photo of women balancing briefcases and babies at the same time. Yet rather than juggle her responsibilities simultaneously, a real working mom goes back and forth between her various priorities in a seesaw like fashion.
There is no better venue for witnessing this than on Twitter, a social network offering real time information, ideal for working moms on the go.
Whether you are seeking career inspiration or just a little motivation for your daily seesaw, here are 25 working moms to follow. I asked each of them for a bit of inspiration and here is what they had to say:
1. Katie Couric
During her TODAY Show tenure, Couric suffered a deep loss on a national stage, and she has captured the hearts of a nation of viewers since. Years later, she still commands the spotlight. Tune in for prolific news and pop culture tweets with a side of Katie: @katiecouric
2. Jennifer Weiner
Bestselling novelist Weiner writes guilty pleasure beach reads, fights for her fellow female authors and still makes time for reality TV commentary. Tune in for hilarious shards of brilliance: @jenniferweiner
3. Kerri Walsh Jennings
Follow Walsh’s journey as a three time gold medalist and mom of three as she goes for the gold again in 2016. Tune in for inspiration and contagious enthusiasm: @kerrileewalsh
4. Lisa Ling
Producer, journalist and TV Host, Ling is a new mom who tirelessly advocates for women and girls. Tune in for thoughtful political and social commentary – on topics ranging from sex trafficking to Starbucks: @lisaling
5. Gayle King
Now the CBS morning show anchor, King is proof that a working mom is powerful well into her children’s adult years. Tune in for high-energy fun – and a smidgen of BFF Oprah in the mix: @GayleKing
6. Tory Johnson
The Tony Robbins of women’s health and wealth, Johnson has now added #1 New York Times bestselling author to her list of accomplishments. Tune in for optimism and inspiration: @toryjohnson
7. Debora Spar
Passionate about education and women, Barnard President, Spar is expanding her audience beyond the university walls with her new book Wonder Women: Sex, Power and the Quest for Perfection. Tune in for highly curated content and refreshing perspective: @deboraspar
8. Barbara Corcoran
Real estate tycoon Corcoran has reinvented her career as the host of Shark Tank, and is arguably the most recognizable face in entrepreneurship. Tune in for business cheerleading: @BarbaraCorcoran
9. Alison Brod
An unstoppable force in PR, Brod and her more than 60 employee firm represent Fortune 500 companies along with the hottest names in fashion. Tune in for access to her trademark unapologetic opinions: @AlisonBrodPR
10. Randi Zuckerberg
Having recently flown the Facebook family coup, new mom Zuckerberg is making a name for herself as an entrepreneur and social media leader. Tune in for tech and lifestyle know-how: @randizuckerberg
11. Arianna Huffington
A digital media pioneer, Huffington, a mom of two, has talked publicly about her older daughter’s recovery from addiction. Tune in for news and her new favorite topic – wellness: @ariannahuff
12. Sallie Krawcheck
A Wall Street icon, Krawcheck recently shifted her focus to women’s networking with the purchase of 85 Broads. Tune in for curated women in business news and pointed commentary: @SallieKrawcheck
13. Susan Orlean
Writer Orlean has an unfair advantage – it is as though Twitter was designed specifically for her talent for pithy wisdom. Tune in for addictive life commentary with an oddball twist: @susanorlean
14. Suzy Welch
A huge career as editor in chief of the Harvard Business Review and four kids later, Welch has enjoyed a second life as a bestselling author and the other half of Jack Welch. Tune in for sarcasm, candor, and her business perspective: @SuzyWelch
15. Liz Lange
Having put maternity fashion on the map. Lange has become an inspiring business leader and remains one of the most approachable big names on Twitter. Tune in for entrepreneurship and style without snobbery: @lizlange
16. Elisabeth Rohm
Most recognizable from her days on Law and Order, Rohm singlehandedly defies the actress stereotype. Sharp, witty and down to earth, Rohm added author to her job title with her parenting book – Baby Steps. Tune in for fresh perspective: @ElisabethRohm
17. Martha Beck
As a bestselling author and Oprah’s favorite life coach, Beck has a riveting personal and professional history and an EQ that is off the charts. Tune in for deep thoughts: @MarthaBeck
18. Alyssa Milano
An early adopter of Twitter, Milano is the boss of this platform and a prolific sharer. Tune in for her highly caffeinated yet filled to the brim with information tweets: @Alyssa_Milano
19. Michelle Rhee
Made famous by the documentary, Waiting for Superman and a subsequent Time magazine cover, Rhee is a deeply passionate and controversial education reformer. Tune in for education and parenting tweets: @MichelleRhee
20. Lisa Stone
Founder of BlogHer and one of the hardest working entrepreneurs, Stone is at the intersection of Venture Capital, brands and media. Tune in for tech and media savvy: @LisaStone
21. Brooke Burke-Charvet
Host of Dancing with the Stars and CEO of Modern Mom, Burke-Charvet tells it like it is. Tune in for a sneak peek backstage to her life as a TV star and mom of four: @brookeburke
22. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
The lawyer turned Congresswoman turned Senator of New York and mom of two is bright, unafraid and always charging forward. Tune in for politics and news: @SenGillibrand
23. Holly Robinson Peete
Social Activist, Apprentice runner up, actress and NFL wife, Peete has taken the Twitosphere by storm. Tune in for straight shooting talk – sports, autism and a window into her world: @hollyrpeete
24. Liz Gumbinner
An advertising executive and co-founder of wildly popular Cool Mom Picks, Gumbinner is the belle of the moms’ ball. Tune in for razor sharp writing with an abundance of self-deprecation: @Mom101
25. Padmasree Warrior
There might be no better role model for women in tech than Warrior, Head of Technology and Strategy for Cisco and mother of a grown son. Tune in for technology, innovation and women in science: @Padmasree
I left my house worried and rewinding. Had I remembered to leave the right notes for my husband? Had I given enough kisses to my kids on the way out? I paid little attention to the man who opened the door to the car that was waiting to take me to the airport for a one night business trip.
As we drove from the familiar streets to the less familiar, I looked down, on autopilot, as I tend to do these days. I began my mindless rotation: email checking, texts, Facebook business page, Twitter, Facebook personal, Instagram and then as I was on my way to lap back for another tour, I looked up at the taxi driver as I used to in the time before I was tied to my smartphone.
He was dressed in a suit and possessed a quiet confidence. I asked him where he was from. “Rwanda.” How did you end up here? “I won the green card lottery.” At that moment I knew that I had won too – this man would turn out to teach me more than I could ever learn scouring my newsfeed on the web. And far more than I had learned studying Africa as a college anthropology student.
He proceeded to tell me first hand about the 1994 Rwandan civil war that until now was as impersonal to me as any other war I have read about. He went on to talk to me about his wife, also Rwandan, and his kids, and how differently they are growing up in America. He used to send money back home to his relatives but he doesn’t anymore. “America makes you greedy,” he explained. Now he wants to make money for his children.
We talked about genocide and love and about how his country in which one million people died so recently, is now known as the most peaceful nation in Africa. He explained that the peace stems from a generation that witnessed horror and do not want to return to that place. Peace is what remains.
We talked about how Tutsis and Hutus now live side by side seamlessly. They live, they love, they marry each other. “Love knows no boundaries,” he said, “look at Anthony Weiner and his wife, a Jew and an Arab.”
On Anthony and Huma he believes, “Forgiveness is good, but you can’t forgive forever.” On Syria, he said, “Nothing good could come of the US intervening.” When he sees what is happening in Syria, it reminds him of Rwanda in 1994.
At last I asked, “Are you Tutsi or Hutu?”
“It doesn’t matter.” he said softly. “That is the kind of thinking and talk that brought us to war in the first place. For years I battled with my father about this. And after years of arguing, I realized he was right. It doesn’t matter, so let’s not talk about it.”
I left and thanked him for a ride not just to the airport, but for giving me more than I could possibly pay for.
Oh, the places you’ll go…when you look up from your smartphone.
Work and family life don’t need to conflict; they need to coexist. It is time to stop glamorizing the alternative and talk about the big bonuses of keeping up your career after you have a child. Here are 8 great reasons to stay in the workforce after having a baby:
1. You will Enjoy a Happier Marriage
Studies show that couples in which both spouses work have greater marital satisfaction. Your marriage will be more likely to thrive if you have something to focus on outside of the home and your spouse will feel less financial pressure if you bring home some of the bacon.
2. You Will Remain Financially Independent
As Leslie Bennetts described in her book “The Feminine Mistake,” in more than half of traditional marriages, the male spouse will either die prematurely, lose his job or leave his wife. When this happens to a stay at home mom, there is no safety net and the entire family’s financial stability is jeopardized. Further, many women report losing financial power in their home when they leave the workforce. You never want to be pitching your spouse on a purchase.
3. You Will Raise Stronger Kids
We are now aware of the deep dangers of overparenting, also known as helicopter parenting. When you stay at home, you are far more inclined to over-parent because parenting becomes your sole focus. As expert Michele Borba explains,“If we keep hovering we will rob our kids of self-reliance.”
4. You Will Secure Future Earnings
A woman who leave the workforce for just three years after having kids give up 37% of her future earnings according to a study done by Sylvia Ann Hewlett. This puts your family’s financial health at risk.
5. You Will Gain Personal Fulfillment
Getting personal satisfaction from something other than your children is critical to being a great parent and a happy one. As France’s most famous parenting authority Pamela Druckerman explains, “The reigning view in France is that if a child is a woman’s only goal, everyone suffers, including the child.”
6. You Will Bring Worldliness to Your Home
When you stay home, your world shrinks because you are surrounded by women like you; moms of the same age, ethnicity and socioeconomic status typically cluster together. By keeping up your career, you will be a more active participant in the world and expand the perspectives you bring into your home. As former stay at home mom Lisa Heffernan explains “In the workplace my contacts and friends included both genders and people of every description, and I was better for it.”
7. You Will Serve As A Role Model
There are two ways you have a greater good impact as a working mom. Firstly, the future generation of young women need working mom role models for support, inspiration and mentorship. And then of course, there is the role modeling that goes on in your own home. A Harvard educated mom who returned to life as an entrepreneur after seven years at home tells this story: When she explained to her kids that she would be starting a company, they asked how that could be since, “Daddies start businesses and mommies stay home.” She sprinted to the office and hasn’t looked back.
8. You Will be Happier
A recent study showed that stay at home moms suffer from significantly greater levels of depression by age 40 than working moms. It is hard to raise a happy child if you are an unhappy mom. As the old adage goes, when mom isn’t happy, nobody is.
All great trips require preparation. Your adventure as a working mom is no different. You can be the best parent in fewer hours per week; it isn’t about how many hours you spend at home, it is about how you use them. Here goes:
- Be unapologetic about your lifestyle. Making excuses for working is like wearing a short skirt and constantly pulling on it.
- Have a school network – two moms you can count on in each child’s grade. If you help them when you can, it will be easier to ask for help when you need it.
- Spend a night out each week – a date night or an evening with friends. This is your fuel; don’t let your tank run dry.
- Disconnect to Connect. Turn off the technology for a set time each day so that you are present when you are with your family.
- Do all of your errands within the Golden Triangle – home, office and school. From the dentist to the hair salon, make no exceptions.
- Treat your arrivals and departures like a train schedule. Predictability makes you more successful at home and at work.
- Beware of the “Flextime Fantasy.” If you have a flexible career, establish set daily hours so that you don’t lose time reinventing your schedule each day.
- As soon as the school calendar arrives, add it to yours. This way you can plan around the school play and the parent teacher conference.
- Sundays are big for you. Plan every detail of the week’s schedule down to the meals and who’s making them. This will reduce conflict, ease stress and save time.
- Don’t get so attached to your sitter that you can’t see her faults. Spot-check by arriving home unexpectedly to see what happens when you are not there.
- Help your spouse to be a partner. Praise more than criticize and create opportunities for him to do every task you do.
- Divide and conquer. Being partners means sharing the responsibilities, divided by your strengths, and pitching in on any as needed.
- Write it all down. From the grocery list to the lunchbox ingredients, you can’t delegate unless you get it out of your head and on paper.
- Nurture your marriage with daily 20-minute check-ins. Keeping in touch with your own partner is vital to a strong bond.
- Synchronize your sleep schedules. Going to bed at the same time together leads to a healthy sex life.
- You can never show your kids too much affection. Shower them in it and watch them thrive.
- Triathletes win or lose races based on transitions. Keep all supplies in their place (cubbies for each family member) and pick clothing the night before.
- Foster a strong family culture by celebrating occasions big and small – birthdays, new seasons. Create rituals e.g. Friday night family movies.
- Expect stress and roller coasters but remember that bad moments are not “bad days” or “bad weeks.” They are moments. Make this a family philosophy.
- Aim to have at least one focused meal a day with your children no matter how crazy work can get.
- If you can’t host play dates during the week, do it on the weekends so that you get to know your child’s friends and their families.
- Personal maintenance is not discretionary. Incorporate exercise into the “train schedule” and if you feel best with a weekly manicure, add it too.
- Keep a positive connection with your kids all week long by planning a weekend event for them to look forward to. Start talking about it on Monday; anticipation is half the fun.
- Identify kid-friendly errands and make a habit of bringing them along. From the supermarket to the car wash, no need to spend this time away from them.
- Be proactive about what you can do. If you aren’t available for weekday opportunities, volunteer to coach the soccer team on Saturdays.
February is the month for romance and the ideal excuse to turn the spotlight on your marriage. Once you implement these 8 steps, your intimacy will be the envy of the playground!
1. Synchronize Your Schedules
Sure it’s tempting to send email late into the night while he falls asleep in front of the TV, but if this sounds familiar, you need to change this pattern. If you crawl into bed at the same time as your spouse each night, sex is an option. If you don’t, it is completely off the table. Your goal is warm bodies cuddling every night.
2. Make Your Husband Your Gay Best Friend
In the best marriages, spouses are best friends. Your husband should have the most intel on your life. Do you have good news? Tell him first. Bad news? Tell him first. Leaning on your husband leads to greater connection and intimacy.
3. Do Bite-sized Check Ins
Over a glass of wine or a cup of tea, make time to have a 20 minute check in each day – morning or night. Keep it to 20 minutes or your partner is less likely to want to do it tomorrow. The daily check-in results in intimacy because it literally holds your life together and insures you are on the same path.
4. Have a Weekly Date Night
Set up a weekly sitter so that date night becomes as much a part of your schedule as work or school. And remember that date night is not for problem solving. If you are doing your bite-size dailies, there is no need to use date nights for anything but fun. Trade off the planning responsibilities and enjoy.
5. Create Your Dreamables
Remember when you first met and the two of you giddily talked about your vision for the future? Just as a growing company periodically rethinks their plan, at least once a year you want to dream with your partner. Look 3-5 years ahead, look 10 years ahead. Think about careers, kids, travel, health, and money. Dreaming together is a great reminder that you are a team. Dream achievable – set a vision that you can aim for and get to.
6. Settle on a Sex Quota
Every couple is different and you need to do what works for both of you. Talk to your spouse about how much you each want to be having sex, meet in the middle and aim to achieve it! Getting in touch with each other’s desires will help you meet one another’s needs.
7. Fly Solo
The two of you need to do a couple’s trip without kids at least once a year. Even two days at a local hotel will rejuvenate your marriage. And go guilt-free because taking some time to intensely connect will benefit the whole family upon your return. It is hard to be an unhappy kid with two happy parents.
8. Be United
As parents you are faced with hundreds of decisions on a weekly basis and if you don’t discuss issues as they arise, they can create wedges between you. The more you communicate about your philosophies and styles when the kids are not listening, the better a team you will be when they are. Getting on the same page will erase a lot of the natural tension that comes with parenting. Support one another and your marriage will thrive.
Chances are you have never accomplished your New Year’s resolutions. By June, 54% of people have abandoned theirs and by the end of year, just forget about it. So instead of pie-in-the-sky resolutions that require unrealistic leaps, focus on small lifestyle changes with achievable and permanent results.
Here are the top five New Year’s Resolutions and how to replace them:
1. Lose Weight
The number one New Year’s resolution is losing weight yet 95% of dieters regain the weight they lose. So why torture yourself? As a would-be dieter, if you make small lifestyle changes instead of dramatic deprivations, you will achieve greater success. According to Dr. James Beckerman, cardiologist and author of The Flex Diet, “The two most effective behaviors are easy and free: weigh yourself daily (and write it down), and keep a food diary. It’s about making mindfulness part of your routine. Both behaviors are proven to help people lose more weight than dieting.”
2. Get Organized
If your grand plan is to get organized, you might have dreams of filing every last piece of paperwork, putting all of our online photos into albums, and more. Instead, organizational expert Julie Morgenstern recommends changing your ways for the future: “When you finish using something, place it back in it’s home immediately. Instead of thinking of it as ‘putting it away,’ think of it as ‘setting it up for it’s next use.’”
3. Spend Less, Save More
To bring this grand statement back to reality, two finance experts weigh in. Farnoosh Torabi recommends that you: “Check your bank balance daily. You need to know where you stand so you can make healthier choices.” Daily Worth founder Amanda Steinberg offers this: “Make sure you’re moving your savings into an actual savings account. Money moved to a separate savings account is less likely to be spent. So much of fluidity comes from proactively saving for things like summer camp months and months in advance.”
4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
Resolving to enjoy life to the fullest because it is January 1 is a little bit like waiting for a tragedy to appreciate your life. To not live a full life with what you already have is like buying a new car and only using 20% of its features. Therapist Robi Ludwig suggests you incorporate your dreams into your daily life. “First write down what your dream is. If your goal is to be in a satisfying relationship, break down your goal into small and manageable steps: i.e. Let your friends know you’re interested in being matched up and join an online dating site.”
5. Stay Fit and Healthy
As much as we would love to start working out tomorrow (and five times a week!), it doesn’t usually happen that way. 60% of gym memberships go unused despite the optimism resolution makers feel in January. So this year, why not take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk your child to school instead of driving him. Fitness guru Gunnar Peterson lets us in on a magic wellness tip: ”Make sleep your priority for one month, get as close to eight hours every night and see how you feel/look/perform in the gym, at work, as a parent and a spouse. You’ll be amazed.”
So scratch those resolutions and turn to these small lifestyle changes to yield the giant 2013 results you seek.
‘Tis the season to be merry, so scratch the diet, the guilt, and the stress. Instead, indulge, reach out, and have fun.
1. Five Pounds
Give yourself a break on those extra pounds and let yourself enjoy good food and drink over the holidays. This is no time for dieting; just as you don’t expect to get a lot of sunlight in December, you should not expect to shed weight either. You will have fun and be more fun if you indulge a bit. Nobody wants to eat the holiday cookie or drink the eggnog without company.
2. Online Shopping
From this moment forward do the rest of your shopping online. From the big box stores to the mom and pops, they are all at your fingertips, so make your life easier by buying from home.
3. A Holiday Date Night (or Two!)
This is the time to enjoy some solo time with your partner. Book the sitter, make some plans, and dress up a bit for the occasion.
4. Family Rituals
Put a family baking night and a sibling gift swap on your holiday calendar. Set a budget and take your child shopping for sibling presents (set a low budget and make this the online shopping exception!). If he is old enough to unwrap a present on his own, he is old enough to give one.
Take a few minutes to call an old friend and go local too, by planning a holiday mom’s night out. Add a gift grab bag to the night for a festive feel.
6. Zero Guilt
You are working as hard as you can to be a great mom and support your family. Replace the guilt with pride – you are doing your best and you are a role model. That is something to feel great about!
by Samantha Ettus
More than 20 years ago, American Airlines saved $40,000 by removing just one olive from each salad tray in First class. This fun fact translates to your life where the smallest lifestyle changes can yield the most dramatic gains. Here are 10 ways to steal more time from your own life:
1. Organize Masterfully
Triathletes win and lose races in the transitions. Make sure your “supplies’ are in the right places. Every member of your family needs her own equivalent of the cubby and her backpack, lunchbox, homework, and shoes all needs to live there.
2. Outsource – to Your Kids
Figure out the age appropriate activities that your kids can do on their own. Get dressed? Pour cereal? Even put him in charge of managing the schedule. An added bonus is that you are helping him towards independence at the same time. More on Forbes…