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CBU MBA graduate class of 2010. Also known as Erin Wiles.

Life as an MBA Mommy

mommyphotoThat which doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. This is my mantra since September 2008 when my husband and I were (surprisingly) blessed with a little girl smack dap in the middle of my career building and MBA program. You see, I am an MBA Mommy. I am a professional juggler of work, school, family, and a wee bit of “me” time on the side.

When you start an evening MBA program, your free time is lessened. But when you add kids into the mix? Your free time is NADA. But, that is the life more and more women professionals are experiencing these days. The trend with women now, especially with Gen X and millenials, is that we want it all: family and career.

At CBU, I imagined I was alone in this thought until two of my other cohort members both got pregnant and had babies all without skipping a beat to complete their classes. And these ideas are not just at CBU. BusinessWeek wrote an article a couple years back about the increase of Mommy MBAs. Some women even planned on getting pregnant during their 2-year MBA program so they could raise their infants on a flexible schedule before they went head-first back into the work force or careers.

This past November, I came across a white paper published by Advertising Age describing The Rise of the Real Mom. I completely related to everything in this paper. One line in the white paper states “Real moms look to subvert the so-called ‘mommy trap,’ where a mother has to choose whether to forfeit a career to care for the kids or plow ahead at work and hand over the stroller reins to the nanny.” This line stood out to me because we are living in a time where women can choose both. BUT, we have to realize that there is an opportunity cost involved. There is a reason why June Cleaver didn’t get her MBA. I mean, who could manage all the cooking and cleaning and primping and child rearing while managing research and preparing for a Business Accounting final?

I have come to grips with these opportunity costs, from both an Mom and MBA’s perspective and I have learned that:

  • Though I have been lucky and not had to sacrifice my family time for school, I have pretty much done away with personal time (no more workouts or extracurriculars), but I am making it so I will be able to better provide financial security for my family in the long run.
  • While I was not able to take that University organized trip abroad to Spain and sip on fine Rioja, I was able to plan an awesome first birthday party for my daughter.
  • It was/is a real bummer not to be able to go out after finals (or after every class depending on the spunk of your cohort) for a drink, but I am able to get some of my best work done between the hours of 10pm and 12am.
  • Week days? Week ends? There is no difference in work days when it comes to projects and homework.  They have to get done, PERIOD. But, I don’t mind it because I love it and love going to class.  It gets me out of the “mom” zone and into my “me” zone.

So now I am two classes away from graduation. Yes, I am tired. Yes, I am worn. Yes, I still have two more loads of laundry to do, but as other MBA moms will probably agree, it is all worth it. I have not only had to opportunity to see what I was truly capable of accomplishing, but I have also been able to set an example for my daughter on just how far she can go.

Plus, if she ever whines to me about how her classes are just so hard and I wouldn’t understand, I can finally pull the old parent card, “When I was in school, I was juggling a job, school, and kids!”

Ok, maybe not.

To all MBA mommies or daddies out there.  What lessons have you learned?  Please share in the comments section below.

Erin M. Wiles
Self-Employed Marketing Professional
MBA Concentration: Project Management
Graduating: May 2010


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3 Comments on “Life as an MBA Mommy”

  1. Marjorie May 27, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Love this post. I’m a full time mommy of a soon to be two year old and a full time student doing a Bachelor of Information Systems and currently researching an honors thesis.
    I am constantly searching for time to do schoolwork as I’m the full time caregiver. Everything you said rings true. Best time to do work is between 10pm and 12am. However, most times my 2 yr old is up! My husband works a laborious job and is physically beat out when he comes home, so I get no reprieve. BUT, I somehow manage to get things done…seems almost magical. I get things done around baby, housework, meal making, paying bills, planning life, and entertaining. It’s the power of dreaming big. Don’t let excuses stop you from doing something.
    I ran across this blog as part of my thesis on social media marketing in higher education. Your websites are very insiteful.
    P.S. I love going to class too for the very same reason…I really miss class during summer!!

    • emwiles May 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words! It takes a special parent to juggle family, school, and work. Glad you are excelling in our special “mommy-student” club! Good luck on the thesis. It may not relate to your specific topic, but I recently published a Slideshare presentation that explores why social media should be used for business school marketing. It references a number of studies/articles done by GMAC, Darden, and Buisnessweek to name a few. Here is a link to the presentation: http://slidesha.re/b7NLnA
      Hope it all comes together for you!



  1. Tweets that mention Buc MBA » Blog Archive » Life as an MBA Mommy -- Topsy.com - December 9, 2009

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Erin M. Wiles, BucMBA. BucMBA said: To all MBA moms: What life lessons have you learned juggling your family life, career, and MBA? http://bit.ly/6UMR7U […]

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