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Four Women Who Hit Their Stride After Kids

Once you become a mother, whether it’s for the first time, or the fifth, your perspective on everything changes. Including your job. 

Returning to work after maternity leave is never easy. Life is even more hectic than before, and you’ve been out of the office for months, not knowing what to expect upon your return.

It’s no surprise to anyone that many women completely change their lives after they’ve had a baby. Whether they decide to stay home, completely change their career trajectory or charge head-on into the job they left behind, some may feel that they’ve lost their sense of self. Take a quick pick-me-up from these four women who can inspire you to continue evolving. 


Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and family
Image from USA Today

Before becoming a feminist icon, the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court, or the Notorious RBG, Ginsburg was a mother. Her eldest child, Jane, was only 14 months old when RBG began law school. She attributes her success at school to her daughter, as when she would finish with school work, she would care for her daughter, and when her daughter would sleep she’d go back to course work, allowing the different parts of her life to give respite to the others. 

In 1972, when both her children were a little older, she founded the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. Her husband took up a lot of the slack around the house, particularly in the kitchen, which allowed RBG to contribute to the women’s movement. 


Madeleine Albright 

Madeleine Albright on pink background
Image from Time Magazine

Madeleine Albright is famously the first female Secretary of State. Her twin daughters were born in 1961, but it was only 15 years later that she obtained her PhD from Columbia, thus igniting her career. She notes that, once her career took off, she faced many gender biases, such as familial duties being a woman’s domain. 

Albright is quoted as saying “I do think women can have it all, but not all at the same time. Our life comes in segments, and we have to understand that we can have it all if we’re not trying to do it all at once.”


Viola Davis

Viola Davis with husband and daughter Genesis
Image from Zimbio

You love her as the formidable Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder, but award-winning actress Viola Davis only saw her career take off in her 50s. Davis adopted her daughter Genesis in 2011, and later watched her career blossom with a part in the movie The Help. 

While many people search for success to have the proverbial flowers thrown at their feet, Davis works for her legacy, and the significance that this has for the family that she has built. She has said “Family are key; fame and fortune don’t automatically lead to happiness. No one ever talks about significance. They talk about success. (...) Especially when you’re working so hard and you’re away from your family – you’re exhausted. There’s no measuring significance and living a life of purpose. Significance is something way deeper. It’s about legacy.” 


Vera Wang

Vera Wang and Daughters
Image from Harper's Bazaar

Vera Wang launched her eponymous brand at 40 years old, which was the same year she had her first daughter. Formerly the youngest editor on Vogue’s staff, Wang was a natural to start a business in the fashion world. Over 15 years after starting her brand, Wang was bestowed the prestigious “Womenswear Designer of the Year” at the CFDAs. 

The career advice Wang shared with Glamour magazine can light a fire under any woman: "Do something you really love, it doesn't matter what it is: being a mom, teaching, whatever you love. If you love it, it'll get you through the hard times, and if you don't, it's not authentic or real anyway. When you love something, every day goes by in 10 minutes." Take these words to heart when you start contemplating your next move. 

Whether you’re getting back to work and dreading it, or already back at work, take inspiration from these strong women who were able to have it all! Becoming a mom is life-changing, but it doesn’t mean that your life has ceased to change in other meaningful ways. You got this, mama!