Arianna says that even in her 20’s while living in London and pursuing a career in journalism, she always wanted to be a mother. She says that while she longed to start a family, the man she had fallen head over heels for wasn’t quite ready to settle down. And so, after deciding to end her eight-year relationship, she moved to the United States where she eventually met and married millionaire Michael Huffington.
When she finally became pregnant for the first time, Arianna was devastated when she miscarried her first child while she was five months pregnant. Despite this tragic loss, Arianna persevered and two years later, she finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl. As she held her baby in her arms, Arianna says, “Everything was put into perspective. Becoming a mother gave me constant sense of gratitude that filled my life with peace.”
Being a writer also made it easier for Arianna to be a hands-on mom. While her children were young, she says she worked from home. “I was able to be with my baby whenever she needed me,” she recalls.
When her 10-year marriage ended in 1997, Arianna turned to her family who provided her with the support she needed as she raised her two young daughters. With her traditional Greek upbringing, Arianna says that despite her divorce, her children always felt the love and security of her close-knit family. “I was really very blessed having my mother live with us. I had a little tribe – my mother and my sister – who helped me as my children were growing up,” she says. Arianna attributes her drive and passion to her mother, who never worked but fervently supported her daughter’s determination to pursue a career. “She always encouraged me to reach for the stars. She was always there for me whether I succeeded or failed,” she says.
As her children grew, Arianna’s career continued to skyrocket. After participating in Comedy Central’s coverage of the 1996 presidential election along with liberal comedian Al Franken, Arianna, who was a Republican, decided to switch political parties at the end of 1996. While juggling single motherhood, Arianna continued writing and providing expert commentary on network and cable television news shows and in 2003, even took a stab at running for Governor of California against Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arianna Huffington is truly a woman who is unafraid of anything or anyone. Which leads us to her latest achievement, her best-selling book, On Becoming Fearless.
Arianna is currently on a cross-country tour to promote On Becoming Fearless - a book that shares inspiring stories and advice from well-known women who have confronted their fears head-on in every aspect of their lives. “Fearlessness is contagious,” says Arianna, who has traveled to a host of cities, meeting scores of people who have become motivated to face their fears and pursue their individual passions.
When it comes to the topic of working motherhood, Arianna says that working mothers tend to face fear that is bundled with guilt. “Working mothers have a special challenge because they are always pulled a lot. Once they take the baby out, they put the guilt in,” she remarks. She adds that working mothers--herself included--always feel like they’re not doing enough. “I remember the time I missed one back to school night and I felt so guilty about it,” she recalls. But at the end of the day, Arianna says, “There are many ways to mother and combine work and motherhood. Work is a fulfillment of ourselves.”
Now that her daughters are 15 and 17, Arianna says her girls are pretty busy leading their own fearless lives in high school. Her youngest daughter is currently on the debating team, while her oldest is managing editor of the school newspaper and completed an internship this summer at Vanity Fair magazine. While she would love to bring her daughters along on her book tour, she says that nowadays, they choose to accompany her on their own terms. In fact, Arianna jokes that for her last birthday, they even presented her with a coupon book – which gave her the opportunity to use a coupon to take them to an individual screening or a book signing.
These days, Arianna continues to share her political views and stories of fearlessness on her wildly successful blog – The Huffington Post. The site, which launched in 2005, is one of the most visited blogs on the Internet – featuring news, editorials and commentary from well-known writers, celebrities and bloggers from around the globe. In fact, Role Mommy is even blogging for the Huffington Post, featuring profiles of our amazing Moms of Reinvention.
“My passion is really driven by what I love - whether it’s the Huffington Post, my new book or being a mother,” says Arianna, who believes that mothers should each accept our own uniqueness and not judge one another if we decide to work while raising a family or stay at home full-time. “In the end, we should all honor what is true to us and what in our life gives us the most joy.”
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