Being a Working Mother

I started my business when my daughter was born and always felt guilty about working full time. Here's a little vignette on what happened 20 years later.

Being in business for 20 years has been an ongoing challenge. Don’t get me wrong, there have been lots of rewards, but it hasn’t been easy.

I started my business, HJMT Public Relations Inc., out of my one bedroom apartment in Long Beach. I had just had my first child and in between the feedings and the crying, I would talk with clients and media people and during the feedings and the crying, I would write press releases and pitch letters.

It’s funny, I always thought of myself as a woman who tried to do it all, but I did get disapproving looks from my neighbors. I once heard someone whisper, “How can she work?”

But I did, because I always loved and still do love what I do – to help companies and non-profits get exposure and visibility for their services or products. So, I juggled it all.

Now, 20 years later, dozens of accolades from the business community and , I look back and reflect on whether I did the right thing.

My daughter is now 20 and going to the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, which is the best communications school in the country. She just informed me that she was elected Vice President of PRSSA (Public Relations Society of America’s Student Association). My son is doing really well in high school, too. I can definitely see him going places. 

So did I do right by being a working mother? Maybe I taught my children a valuable lesson: do what you love, do it right and success is yours for the taking. I think the proof is in the pudding. 


Hilary JM Topper, MPA is the President/CEO of HJMT Public Relations, Inc. She is also an active blogger on Hilary Topper's Blog and is a radio show host on Hilary Topper On Air on Blogtalk Radio. She has many free offers on her web site including a copy of her first book, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media but were afraid to ask.

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Kiera Kaufman May 11, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Thank Hilary!! :)
Missy Kreinces May 11, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Congratulations on your book - and your business. I too am a mom who started a marketing and promotions company from home. My girls are now 11 and 13. The nights when I am working until midnight because I was up at school helping with a program or being the Girl Scout leader I step back and remind myself how blessed I am that I have a job that I really enjoy and am able to balance work and family on my terms. I think it also does my girls a lot of good to see not only that I work, but what I do on a daily basis. And when I need a little extra help stuffing envelopes or packing up promotion prizes I put them to work.
Hilary Topper May 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM
And you know Missy, they learn great skills from helping you! Congratulations on your business and your family! It's hard to juggle it all but it's all worth it in the end! Thanks for your comment!
Dawn Andrew May 14, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Love this article so much. I always feel the working Mommy guilt, but my kids seem to love my job as much as I do. I work close to home so I am available for all of their school functions etc.. They seem very proud of me.
Hilary Topper May 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Thanks Dawn! Your kids are proud of you and it makes you a better mother! Keep up the great work!


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