Mothers everywhere are perfecting the side-hustle. The definition of hustle is to force (someone) to move hurriedly or unceremoniously in a specified direction. Clearly, that happens 24/7 with a toddler and usually involves a bag full of bribes. But I’m talking about a different kind of hustle. The side-job, the gig you work during nap times, the reason your head is buried in your phone at 9:30 p.m. and you’ve missed half of Game of Thrones.
Multi-tasking moms have existed since the beginning of time. And now, more than ever, they are using their super powers to entertain children between the hours of 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., while still cashing a paycheck – proving once again that women rule the world.
Before Bauer was born, I made the rounds at public relations agencies in New York and Atlanta before landing what, at the time, felt like a dream-gig in the communications department at Home Depot. Two years later I was pregnant and 9 months following I knew I had no intention of returning to my 9-5.
For the first time in my life I had no professional goals, my life plan was to raise babies (which looking back, I thought involved relaxing Starbucks outings and long runs with happy children in the jogger).
Truth be told, I don’t (or at least didn’t at the time) think like an entrepreneur, but I project manage like a boss – so if you told me that two years and two babies later I would be consulting and writing on my own, I would have believed you as much as I believe Bauer when she says, “OK, Mommy. I no hit sissy.”
While I’m proud of my accomplishments, I’m the new mom-life norm… and that my friends, is bad ass. If I look out my home-office window I can see my friend chasing her one, two, THREE children (all under the age of 5) down the street. She posted about Plexus 10 minutes ago on Facebook. The photographer behind Mama Said’s pretty snaps took these pictures while wearing a sleeping newborn in her Solly Baby Wrap. And my Super Squad Mom tee you see pictured? – designed by a local Atlanta mother behind the brand 3rd + Hudson.
Most would assume that the side-hustle was born out of financial need. Sure, my paychecks help…help me justify blacking out at Target and leaving with $250 of home decor, sippy cups and totally unncessary stationary. But it’s more than that.
Motherhood can be isolating. The side-hustle can be empowering.
Even as a self-proclaimed hustler, I still have days when the only people I talk to either have a very limited vocabulary (mine, no nap, I want juice) or work at our grocery store. It can be lonely enough to make 26 unread work-related emails exciting.
I’m not saying we all need to prance around in LuLaRoe leggings or accept every Rodan + Fields Facebook group invite that comes our way, but let’s just support and encourage the sleep-deprived mothers behind those brands. Show them the same respect that we do the corporate attorney and new mom of twins. The mommy blogger sharing her knowledge on all things baby and negotiating with brands more than she negotiates with a threenager. And the traditional mom, dedicated to putting all 5 food groups on the table at every meal.
Working-mom, stay-at-home-mom or mama with a side-hustle…no matter how you fill your days between breakfast and bath time, you’re part of a squad of moms that have been getting stuff done since forever.
Memories captured by Brooke Whitney Photography.