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Before Sarah, I used to care about trivial things like pedicures. I used to care that if my nail polish was chipped, I would never wear open toe shoes. A lot has changed since I’ve entered the back-to-work-mom chapter of my life. But, my attitude toward details hasn’t changed.

Yesterday, I was at a networking event that I helped to organize. I arranged a bunch of details, including:

  • Booking the guest speaker
  • Setting up the venue
  • Determining the meal, the color of fabric napkins, juice, salad, dessert
  • Prepared the printed agenda so the president of the organization would look organized addressing the attendees
  • Managed the website registration for guests and ensured a name badge for each attendee
  • Coordinated the seating arrangements
  • Etc.

Pedicure dramaWhile the guest speaker was addressing the group, I looked down at my feet and realized that one of my toe nails had a chip in the nail polish. Are you kidding me?! I’m wearing open toe heels at a professional networking event and I have chipped polish?! Shoot. Me. Now.

After nearly hyperventilating, I realized something: Other than me, no one at this event probably cares if I have chipped toe nail polish.

But, I care about that kind of stuff. I care that I present myself in a professional, polished manner at these types of events. It’s important to me to take care of the fine details of the event so that it goes smoothly for the attendees and the guest speaker. Trust me, if it doesn’t go well, then I definitely hear about it. (Why do we mostly point out what’s wrong instead of what went well?!?)

But with all I do about employer and personal branding, to me the fine details do make a difference. For me, it’s important that I present myself well and that my work is done well.

In the end, no one probably noticed my chipped polish – even though I was wearing bright red! If they did notice, I hope they’ll give me the benefit of the doubt. As I type that, I am keenly aware of all the times I judged another woman for her appearance. I don’t know if any of those women were married, single, mom, whatever. I try hard to not judge people, but I do think it’s important that working moms do their best to dress and groom themselves so that they look put-together.

In reality, women are being judged by their looks, their grooming, their shoes, manicures, etc. Actually, it doesn’t bother me that we’re judged – men are judged for their appearance, grooming, shoes, etc. too. It just is what it is… We judge. (I know that’s not very Christian of me to say, but we do. I do. I’m working on it.) And because people are judging, I think it’s important to slow down and make sure that the fine details are noticed, improved and championed.

Can’t say that I won’t have chipped polish again, but I can say that I’m little bit more aware of that fine detail… because it’s important to me and I care about how I present myself. For me, as a working mom, I think it’s important to care about how I present myself. I feel better, more organized, more confident when those fine details are attended to.

As a working mom, do you pay attention to the details?