I had the great blessing of being a mother to 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls. At the time my children were born, working from home was not an option. I was one of those professional executive mothers who left home early and often didn’t return until late at night, only to have dinner with my family.

Many times, I felt guilty because I labeled myself as an “absent mother.” While I made arrangements to attend school events, I participated very minimally in activities where other mothers were heavily involved. I confess this feeling accompanied me many times, but I justified it by saying that I was doing it for the economic well-being of the family. This, indeed, had its benefits, as they lived a life of many comforts, if not luxuries.

Looking back now, one thing I don’t regret is that I had created my family purpose, but above all, my professional purpose. I was driven by what I did and the benefits my work generated in the field of human resource management in the companies I worked for. More than the economic aspect, this purpose was my motivation to detach myself from my family for long hours because I felt I was contributing to something greater.

Now, in retrospect and in the context of March, a month dedicated to women, I want to share my learnings with those women who identify with me in the feeling of being an “absent mother.” I share this because I believe it’s important to become aware of the meanings we give to who we are and what we do in this journey called life.

I want to highlight three things that I believe have led me to the current results in my role as a mother:

  1. Having this purpose regarding why I did what I did served me in wanting to do it as best as I could, even if I perhaps didn’t achieve excellence, but I put all my heart into serving all those people I served. I always shared this meaning with my children, and they experienced it through my example.
  2. My support network, which consisted of my husband, who responsibly assumed his role as a father and was present, and my mother, who was always supervising that everything ran smoothly. I acknowledge this support, and I am convinced that the three of us made an excellent team.
  3. A practice we maintained as a family was always having dinner together. During the day, everyone was involved in their activities, but we all knew that dinner was for family time. It became our gathering because we spent up to an hour at the table after finishing our meals. I carry this practice in my heart because it allowed us to connect and heal from the day’s difficult experiences. Additionally, it was the space where they learned family values, table manners, and sharing.

The intention of this reflection is that if you, as a professional mother, sometimes doubt whether you are doing the right thing by wanting to develop professionally, I can tell you that it’s worth it. If you get your family accustomed to practices that foster the spirit of family, you will raise excellent citizens as we did, the three of us. My children, all now adults, are committed professionals, excellent spouses, responsible parents, and wonderful children.

Mission accomplished, and expectations exceeded.