Through the eyes of an MBA mommy – Is your baby better than mine?

“Diana, how do you do it? I can barely handle myself at this point.”, her eyes surrounded with dark circles looked puzzled. My dark circles stretched into a smile, “You know, it’s easier for me. I know that I have limited time to do something, so I just do it and submit. I don’t revise.”

MBA requires a lot of time and dedication. It’s not so much about the content being academically difficult, it is more about having to spend a lot of time working on different projects. (Luckily, somehow it always happens that all the deadlines are in the same week.) In the beginning a lot of people asked me how could I manage both family and workload that was difficult even if you were alone. The thing was that having my family around really enabled me to focus on the important stuff. When I have a lot of time to do something, I tend to lose a lot of it on procrastination. On the other hand, if I know that I only have two hours to finish the report, I have to be really focused to do it. No Youtube, no party, no walking around, it’s just me and the report. And after two hours, the report is there.

I don’t really think it’s an exclusive mommy thing. And I don’t think that this MBA is more difficult for me because I am a mommy. I look at my colleagues and most of them also have their own “babies” outside of the class. Some are starting a business, some are preparing for marathons, some are attending football matches, some are gardening, and one is even running a successful political career. Their “babies” are also important to them and they also don’t feel happy if they don’t have time for them. They need their “babies” because they make them happy and they help them make it through the tough times.

And yet, the real babies, children, are still seen as a bigger threat for the career, instead of seeing them as making mommies more efficient and focused. We all know the unfavorable statistics about mommies in business – underpaid, not promoted, finding it difficult to find or change jobs. Why is it so? If my child makes me happy and productive, just as training for a marathon makes my colleague happy and productive, why should I be penalized for that?

Being a mommy is wonderful. It has its ups and downs and it just makes everything in life feel more intense – happiness is more intense, worry is more intense. It makes you feel more alive. It makes you relax. It makes you focus. And that helps you do a better job. And I shouldn’t be penalized for being better in my job, right?

 

P.S. I have to make a little bit of PR for my MBA mommies. There are four of us in class, with five children. We all have the same assignments and the same time as everyone else in class. And yet, I don’t believe it is a coincidence that all four mommies are in the upper half of the class ranking*. All of them are above average. Maybe there really is something in having our little monsters around… 🙂

 

*Disclaimer: the sample size of four is really small and the grades are of course not an ideal thing for making comparisons, because they matter more to some people than others and this can distort the comparison. 

Left to right: Marina, Anne, Sarah and Diana.
ESMT MBA 2014 mommies. Left to right: Marina, Anne, Sarah and Diana.

 

About Diana Medimorec 5 Articles
Diana is currently an MBA candidate at ESMT. Prior to the MBA she graduated and got her PhD degree in electrical engineering at the University of Zagreb. For the past seven years she had been working in renewable energy sector as project developer of wind and solar projects.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Dee, I am so happy you feel encouraged to do an MBA! There are challenges, but it is completely doable! If you need any help, feel free to contact me through e-mail. 🙂

  2. Hi Diana,
    This your article about “MBA and mommyhood” is a letter straight from heaven to me!
    I am applying for an MBA, and everyday, I wake up thinking- “Dee, are you you crazy? How are you planning to swing this MBA thing with your “mommy work” and “wife work”? that is, if you do manage to get in… and everyday I reply myself- never mind Dee; apply and get admitted first.
    To see that there are actual Mommys in an MBA class, that manage to meet deadlines, do group work, have a social life and still do mommy duty is the extra motivation I need right now. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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