This article examines the degree to which working-class women embodied the roles of wife, mother, and worker in early-industrial São Paulo, Brazil (1900–1930). By juxtaposing employment evidence from the Jafet textile factory with personal stories and anecdotal evidence, the article highlights the complex decisions these women made to return to and remain in the formal labor market. As workers, these women could work toward personal and family goals and gain some degree of personal satisfaction. For middle-class women, formal employment was often mutually exclusive from being a wife and mother. This was not the case for working-class women; nationality, however, impacted the degree to which working-class women entered the formal labor market. Married women in Spanish households sought employment in times of extreme economic necessity. In contrast, Italian mothers were more prominent in textile factories than either women of other nationalities or their single Italian cohort.