International Women’s Day: Being a Working Woman and Mother Today


How do we promote gender equality and emotional intelligence? International Women’s Day and the ATM of HAPPINESS

Today, women are celebrating. We appear on the covers of magazines, in the news, on social media, everywhere. In short, today we are the focus of attention, the protagonists of International Women’s Day–a holiday that has been recognized for over a hundred years. This year, the slogan promoted by the United Nations is aimed at joining efforts to achieve gender equality by promoting equality, intelligence, and innovation: Think equality, build with intelligence, innovate for change.

What does it mean to be a woman and a working mother today?

International Women's Day: Being a Working Woman and Mother Today Marielena Aguilar Contributor Miami Moms Blog

Being a working woman, nowadays, is a challenge for us mothers. Many times, between the roles of mother and wife, we forget to be a woman. We give priority to the children, our husbands, the housework, the children’s tasks, the family, the pets, the finances and the neverending list of chores, leaving ourselves in last place.

In my personal experience, as the mother of a successful 23-year-old young professional, as the daughter of a wonderful woman and as an immigrant woman, wife, sister, aunt, friend and passionate worker, I also fell into that routine. I attended to everyone and everything except for myself because I did not have the knowledge and life experience that I have now.

Therefore, my great gift to you, Brave Warrior and Fighter, is to give you the ATM/FLY key to HAPPINESS. I am sure you are asking yourself what that is.

When I say ATM, in Spanish I mean, Ámate a ti misma. In English it would be FLY,  FIRST LOVE YOURSELF, and you will create HAPPINESS. Ironically, our role as moms resembles ATMs, as we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and in the language of your choice.

So here’s the FLY/ATM of HAPPINESS:

  1. Value yourself, because you are a unique woman, loving, beautiful, intelligent and wonderful.
  2. Develop your talents. Seek to do what you love. Look for your mission in life–something that you’re passionate about. We all have a mission. Sing, dance, laugh, write, explore.
  3. Dare to pursue your dreams as a WOMAN. Plan that trip that you’ve always wanted to take. Practice that sport or hobby that you like; the one you say you do not have time for.
  4. Study that career or skill that will propel you to become your most confident self. Because the children grow up very fast and someday will also leave in search of their own dreams. When my daughter left our home and went off to college, I enrolled in a master’s program and we both ended up graduating at the same time. She was in Washington, DC and I was here in Florida.  
  5. Have a sense of gratitude towards every breath, every day, every person and circumstance that comes to and moves out from your life. Some people come as blessings and others as lessons.
  6. Strengthen your spirit and control your emotions. Do not allow ANYONE to take the peace from within you. Regardless of which religion you practice, mindfulness techniques will help you experience calmness in your soul.
  7. Invest in yourself. If you are doing well everyone around you will, too. A nutritious diet combined with exercise keeps you healthy, extends your youth, and strengthens your intelligence. I recommend SuperPowers: The Busy Woman’s Guide to Health and Happiness, a book written by fellow Miami Moms Blog Contributor Adita Yrizarry-Lang

So, there are no more excuses, ladies. Begin practicing these 7 FLY/ATM keys of HAPPINESS. No matter how many times you fail in the attempt, the important thing is to get up again. Remember, our children follow our example.

In fact, with the passage of time, the role of women in the professional field and gender equality as a whole has been evolving. However, as a specialist in early childhood, I want to share a very important point with you that often goes unnoticed:

If we want gender equality in the work environment, we have to start by practicing gender equality in the home and promoting emotional intelligence.

As mothers, our feminist discourse is often not aligned with our actions. You know why?

When a child is hurt, I often hear mothers say: Clean yourself up nothing happened, keep playing because you are a big and strong man. Men do not cry. On the contrary, if the same happens to a girl, the response of the adult is different: Oh no, what happened to the princess? How did it happen? Come let me give you a kiss, my love. Let me put ice on you, poor girl.

In practice, we often observe that we mothers are the ones that engrain gender differences from childhood. Without realizing it, we encourage weakness in girls and strength in boys. Giving dolls, kitchenettes, and brooms to our daughters while at the same time giving rustic cars, tools, helmets, and robots, to our sons. Furthermore, what message is your child seeing in your home? Who washes the bathrooms, cleans the house, does laundry and cooks at home?

The independence of women and gender equality requires emotional intelligence. Learning to manage our emotions is a brilliant skill that should be practiced from childhood.

Finally, I tell you, WOMAN and MOM, that your thoughts and feelings create your destiny. You can go as far as you can dream. Today is a great day to awaken that passionate, unique, talented, loving, brave, helpful, warrior woman who lives within you. We, together with God, are procreators of LIFE.

Celebrate your achievements with pride and do not forget that before being a mom, you are first a woman.

Remember, emotional intelligence is key to promoting gender equality. If you remember a phrase that you were often told during childhood, share it in the comments! We would also love to read and hear about how do you promote gender equality in your home.

Happy International Women’s Day!

With love and gratitude,