Guess What? PR and Motherhood Aren’t That Different

young woman working on her bed while taking care of her unruly children at home

It’s a major life change to become a mother while managing a career in the demanding world of PR. When I'm not working my 9-to-5 in PR, my 24/7 is being a mom to my daughter (and soon-to-be two daughters). However, while growing in both of these roles, I've noticed they have a lot in common. Here’s how they mirror each other.

Resiliency and Flexibility

Many factors about PR are out of our control. For example:

  • Whether or not a reporter picks up a story idea: The reporter may not have opened the pitch, or the pitch needs a more timely news hook. The reasons could be endless.
  • Breaking news that interferes with an announcement: The nature of the news cycle is unpredictable, and sometimes opportunities get pushed or canceled due to more timely news.

It’s in a communicator's power to choose how they react. PR professionals know better than anyone that staying nimble is…staying sane. It’s part of the job to adapt to changes quickly—like a last-minute announcement or hot opportunity to newsjack. With every obstacle, we build more resilience and experience to conquer the next one.

Motherhood is no different. Every stage of a child’s development brings new challenges—from navigating the sleepless newborn stage to the first day of daycare and the stomach flu that plagues your home. No matter how much someone thinks they have parenthood down pat, there’s always something new.

Patience & Persistence

PR does not equal instant gratification; it’s a long game. Communicators won’t always land a feature story and instantly get clients on board with campaign ideas. The job requires trial and error—and patience—before finding success.

However, patience alone won’t cut it. Persistence, especially through sustainable PR efforts, is key. Communicators can’t wait for clients to share the next big announcement. Their job is to continue pitching creative angles while in slower moments—building opportunities and momentum.

Motherhood also requires a lot of patience and persistence. As a mom fully engulfed in the toddler stage, this lesson feels the most relevant. Moms are faced with little humans who have BIG feelings—tantrums, whining, negotiations, talking back, oh my! It may be way easier to put on their shoes for them, but with patience and persistence and having them take it on, they'll be able to do it on their own quicker. And that independence is great for mommy and daughter.

There are many ways motherhood can test patience, but at the end of the day when a child wants to cuddle and read a story together before bed, it’s always worth it.

Managing Expectations

“Why aren’t we in The New York Times yet?”

“How come we haven’t gone viral?

“Why wasn’t my company one of Inc’s "Most Innovative Companies"?”

PR professionals all face tricky questions. They must continuously manage client expectations, ensure strategy is agreed upon and understood and show that results are realistic and achievable. This is the basis of a transparent partnership.

Moms are also always managing kids' expectations.

“Can we go to Disney instead of school?”

“I want cookies for dinner, not chicken and broccoli!”

“Can I get a Mustang for my 16th birthday?”

With kids, sometimes there's compromise, and sometimes it’s just simply a hard no. The beauty of motherhood is being more blunt with your kids than with clients.

Despite the similarities, there’s an ultimate differentiator between PR and motherhood: the lifelong bond between mothers and their children. In PR, we can lose a client or change jobs, but as mothers, we are our children's foundation for life.

Gabrielle Wright is an Account Supervisor at Carve Communications.