Motherhood and ambition, an original series

colourful sketch of a woman sitting cross-legged holding a sun in one hand and a moon in the other

What happens to a woman’s ambition after she has children? How does she combine the rigors of advancing a career with those of raising a kid? There is no single answer. Here are five essays that showcase the different choices mothers make when it comes to working—either in or out of the home.

Motherhood and Ambition, a Motherwell original series, featuring:

Following the fishing line of my ambition, by Adrienne So



Before I had kids, my mother told me: “Your career is the only thing you will ever have that is entirely your own.”


Navigating my ambition as a single motherby Katherine Sargent


My own aspirations weren’t as important as buying groceries. I had my daughters 80 percent of the time.


Showing my children that dreams can changeby Sonya Spillmann


The sparks of ambition, even in the middle of life, can become flames.


On opting out and not having it allby Lauren Apfel


Having a kid before establishing a career was part luck and part madness.


On not leaning in, but not leaning out, by Brianne DeRosa


I don’t want advancement. I just want to do a good job each day and go home without guilt.

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