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Ambitious Like a Mother

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Ambitious Like a Mother

Why Prioritizing Your Career Is Good for Your Kids

Little, Brown Spark,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Learn how to love your job, guilt-free, and know the kids are all right too.

Editorial Rating



  • Eloquent
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Women have come a long way on their journey to equality, but social and economic landmines still litter the path of working mothers. As a successful lawyer, professor and mother of two, Lara Bazelon shares insights into the various obstacles working mothers face, every day. In addition to her own history, Bazelon presents inspiring stories of ordinary women overcoming the biased demands made of working mothers. Offering thoughts on family planning and strategies for coping with work–life imbalances, this intelligent text presents a compelling argument for ambitious self-fulfillment.


To achieve real work–life balance – and financial independence – mothers should prioritize their professional ambitions, not just family life.

Author Lara Bazelon knows all too well what it means to be a working mother. She’s a law professor and mother of two, and her mother was a doctor. As a child, Bazelon was keenly aware that her mother, who earned her medical degree in the early 1970s, was different from the other kids’ moms, none of whom worked outside the home.

Although both of Bazelon’s parents worked long hours, only her mother was expected to cook, clean and care for Lara and her three sisters. Her father, a high-powered lawyer, often traveled for work, sometimes for long stretches; but her mother rarely left home for business. Dr. Bazelon accepted these gendered inequities, even though they exhausted her and limited her professional opportunities.

While proud of her mother’s accomplishments, Bazelon made a conscious decision not to follow completely in her footsteps. Instead, she chose to keep her legal career on track throughout her children’s lives. Bazelon did heed one piece of...

About the Author

Lara Bazelon is a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she directs the criminal and racial justice programs and holds the Barnett Chair in Trial Advocacy.

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    V. P. 1 year ago
    Absolutely reflects views of working mothers and tension created by society towards them.
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    I. M. 1 year ago
    this is great opportunity for motherhood thanks for your presentations