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We Asked 4 Mogul Moms: Can Women Really Have It All? Here's What They Said

Motherhood

As society progresses and women balance being the nurturers of the home with being breadwinners, business owners, soccer moms, and overall modern day renaissance women, we find ourselves challenging the status quo - daring to go after it all.


There are the groups that point fingers and shame women for having the audacity to put our dreams at the forefront of our lives. And then there is our own internal mom guilt/wife guilt that arises every now and then if we dare sacrifice a weekend with the kids for a few days away to regroup so that we can operate at our best highest selves.

Despite the unique challenges that might come with doing it all, nowadays women are mastering the art of having it all and redefining what it means to be a working mom. Here's how these 4 boss women have managed to maneuver the balancing act of having it all with self-care and grace.

Rainbow Barris - @tharealrainbow

Rainbow Barris is the author of Keeping Up With the Johnsons: Bows guide to Black-ish parenting and wife to the creator of the widely-received Black-ish. She is an advocate for women pursuing their dreams and emphasizes that "all" looks different every woman.

"The idea of having 'it all' should not be prescribed or defined by anyone, especially a man, except by the woman who has it all."

Black-ish depicts the story of the mom that thrives professionally, while her home life slips through the cracks. It's a delicate balance that Rainbow has managed to get better at over recent years, as a mother of six, a doctor, and now a best-selling author. The key is to not give in to the fear of emulating perfection and allowing room for error as well as self-forgiveness.

Rainbow shared with us how she handles mommy guilt, and says it a recurrent chapter in her life. While she recognizes the positive effects of guilt in small doses, such as providing strength, compassion, and a safe place of vulnerability, she highlights that too much time spent wallowing in it is unhealthy. "We must accept guilt only long enough for it to help. A lot of juggling is preparation, thinking ahead about myself, my family, and how to best navigate a situation or my days."

For more Rainbow, follow her on Instagram @tharealrainbow.

Makini Smith - @therealmakinismith

Makini Smith is a published author of A Walk in My Stilettos, life coach, and mother of 4 who believes women can have it all to some degree. Makini advocates that being happy and whole with self, family, career, and relationships is possible.

"It does take some kind of foundational grounding. For me, that's my faith. It's helped me to manifest what I feel I deserve as a woman. No one's life is perfect but we can strive for perfection. Being self-aware yet understanding that I'm a work in progress, having children that are my WHY even though they drive me crazy at times, walking in my purpose impacting lives, and being in a relationship with a man that has shown me what true sacrificial love feels like I have it all. Enough to know it IS possible."

Makini says that "balance is a myth at times" but she believes she has found the secret formula:

Faith + Family + Finances + Fun (Friends) = Balance.

Self-care to some is just as foreign a topic as women having it all, but Makini Smith doesn't believe in being a part of team no sleep. She acknowledges the role that it plays in her ability to get things done and operate as her best possible self. She has begun a much healthier journey and is more conscious of what she consumes.

"I take spa days, moments where I unplug from the world, especially social media. If I don't get enough food, sleep, relaxation, and laughter, I'm no good for my family or my business."

Take a walk in Makini's stillettos by following her on Instagram @therealmakinismith.

Rachel Gilder - @i_amrachelg

Rachel Gilder is a Self-Love and Relationship Expert, and recently transitioned from single mom to fiancée. For Rachel, having it all is about going after it all and that it's rooted in choice.

"I believe that women can have it all and there is absolutely nothing women can't do. Women can carry another life, nurture another life, motivate others, inspire, empower, educate, and lead others. Women do this and more, all while having the ability to selflessly put herself last."

Rachel refuses to start her day without devotionals, which allows her to maintain a healthy balance between her personal and professional life. The part of her day devoted to business is spent helping people heal and learn to love again through relationship coaching. She does a ton of soul-taxing work daily, so strategically planning is an integral part of her business.

When asked if she ever worries about missing out on milestones, Rachel says her fiancé and children love to support her as she follows her own dreams. In the past, she would plan her travel around when her boys were with their father but everything has changed now that she's planning to wed the love of her life in a few months. Graduations, birthdays, and major accomplishments are non-negotiable and she never misses out on those.

"My kids will never have their moments in life again and clarity begins at home. I must say I have been grateful to schedule my career around or with my family."

See more of Rachel by following her on Instagram @i_amrachelg.

Kim Scott - @kimmasononline

Kim Mason is a full-time work from home mom of 4 in the Network Marketing Industry. Kim definitely believes that women can have it all but admits it is no easy feat. She goes on to point out that there are so many moving pieces when it comes to marriage, family life, and a career. Kim lets us in on her secrets to flourishing at home, in business, and in love.

"In order for your love life to survive, you both have to be on the same page. He has to understand and respect your vision, drive to succeed, and be your biggest cheerleader without questioning his own manhood. Next, there is family. There will be seasons that you are just all-out busier than what is normal for you. You will need to communicate that and get your family to buy in to what your lives may look like and why. Share your WHY with them and take your goals and vision from an 'I' thing to a 'WE' thing. Everyone will have to sacrifice more during this time and be willing to extend a lot of grace. Discuss what that will look like and what you will need from them. Lastly, make clear days and times where you are totally available to them so when you are busy they have something to look forward to (ie. date night, Sunday dinners, family day etc)."

"You will need to communicate that and get your family to buy in to what your lives may look like and why. Share your WHY with them and take your goals and vision from an 'I' thing to a 'WE' thing."

Where work or business are concerned, Kim advises us to GO HARD during the time that has been allotted for work and set time boundaries. In a counseling session years ago, Kim's counselor suggested that Kim be the CEO in her own home. She began to implement a budget, weekly dinner menus, chore charts, and ordering toiletries and commonly used items to her front door. She admits that she does still get off track sometimes but is sure to add "most of us will." Give yourself some grace, grace, and more grace, and then go back to your plan.

Self-care seems to be a mandatory component to running the show with grace and we asked Kim what that looks like for her. Kim emphasizes how inconvenient burnout is and strays far from the "no days off" bunch. Like the other ladies interviewed, her day begins with faith and self-development. One hour each week is devoted to brainless activities. And the remainder of her free time is devoted to her children, weekly 8-mile walks, and laughing until herself and the kiddies are in tears. "I am HUGE on self-care. I do entirely too much and too many people rely on me [so I can't afford] to burnout."

Keep up with Kim on Instagram @kimmasononline.

Featured image courtesy of Rainbow Barris

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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