March 8, 2023

Rihanna’s Superbowl Moment Displays Motherhood & Success

By: Ericka Andersen

At this year’s Super Bowl, Rihanna revealed something the paparazzi hadn’t yet been able to uncover: she was pregnant with her second baby. As the award-winning singer danced on a lifted stage amid hundreds of backup dancers, she clearly showcased her growing tummy and showed the world that pregnancy doesn’t have to hold a woman back. 

As young professionals in modern culture, many women are worried that having children early will prevent them from succeeding in their careers. They hear how difficult being a parent is (and it is) and think they should wait until they are more prepared for that. 

For some, that might be true. But for many, it means they are postponing the best part of life for unreliable reasons. I’ve seen multiple memes shared lately depicting women sharing that they bought into the hustle career life and now they are 40+, never had kids and wonder what happened. 

It’s important to push back on the narrative that kids hold you back. In Western culture, we have more opportunities than ever to succeed as mothers and career women. It’s not easy, but it’s possible – and fertility is never guaranteed later in life. 

It’s true, some women don’t want to have children – and that’s totally okay. Statistics show, however, that most want and do have children. It’s time to encourage young women not to postpone motherhood. Rather, if they want to have children, we can showcase how that’s possible in line with the career track they have, so long as they have a partner in the process. 

5 Reasons We Can Make Motherhood & Career Work

1. Work is more flexible than ever. Women say flexibility is one of the number one values they want in a job. In a post-COVID world, remote and flexible work has become even more possible than before. 

2. Solid partnerships at home make a difference. If you are married, raising children and working can be a tag team situation. Leadership in many companies has come to understand the importance of family priorities. As parents, you can work together to cover pickups and schedules with your respective workplaces. 

3. Paid leave is gaining ground. Though the paid leave system in the U.S. isn’t great, it’s getting better. Big companies usually have fairly generous paid leave policies. Others often have hybrid offerings, like partial paid time off and supplementing with vacation or sick days. By making intentional choices about where you work, you can help ensure you’ll have access to adequate leave time. 

4. Believe it’s possible. I remember years ago when Marissa Meyer became the President & CEO of Yahoo! When she was pregnant with twins! Now this isn’t the most common story, but it shows what’s possible. Personally, I made some of my largest career strides when pregnant and raising babies. 

5. Lean on your community. As with so many parts of life, finding and depending on your community is imperative. Seek out mama friends in the same life stage as you. Stay active and committed in your church or other community group. Ensure you have help and support when you need it. You cannot go it alone. 

If you are a Millennial mom – or hope to be one someday – it’s good to be thinking about these things ahead of time.