I come from a background where going to college, getting a degree, and getting a job in the corporate world is highly valued.
I should have known something about me was different when I dreaded every single office assistant job I had in college.
I’d continue to apply for these jobs believing that they would lead me to my path but time and again I’d start the job, work for a few weeks or a month or two, then become so dreadfully bored that I would ultimately quit.
Then rinse and repeat throughout my early 20s.
I found myself in a stable company at the age of 26, I was just about to get married and I had what most Americans would define as a pretty decent paying steady job for a very large corporation.
Something was still missing. I practiced my writing on the side because it truly made me feel passionate and like I was most alive when I was writing about my own experiences and my passions.
I continued to ignore my burning desire to do something more with my life until I became a mom.
Becoming a mom changed everything for me.
I suddenly had another human to take care of. My priorities shifted and I no longer felt the need to continue on a trajectory of climbing the corporate ladder.
I should back up just a couple years to mention that I did pursue my MBA and earned it while in the throes of new motherhood. I thought that getting that advanced degree would change the course of my career, but truth be told, it didn’t.
I’m not discouraging education if that is the path you choose, but in my experience the advanced degree did not make me any more fulfilled. I still had a gap that needed to be filled after graduation.
It took becoming a mom to realize that I had bigger priorities in my life, and my daughter opened my eyes to the possibilities of the world.
A new baby that you raise and nurture from infanthood to young toddlerhood to early childhood is like a shining example of everything that is good, pure, and true in the world.
At each step of motherhood my daughter taught me lessons about life.
Ironically enough when she was two, I walked across that stage to earn my diploma and two months later I started my first blog.
I am not sure why earning an advanced degree triggered me to start my online journey, but something inside of me that was burning to be revealed, made its way to the surface and I found my creative outlet that I had been missing all along.
My first blog was called “Balancing Act,” because you know, of the constant balancing act we play as mothers between managing our careers and family lives.
That first blog evolved into what is now The Working Mom Collective, where I share stories about working moms, share resources and a community of support for working moms around the world.
What I have discovered in my journey is that there is not a one-sized-fits-all mold for working motherhood. We all have our own unique stories to share.
The truth of the situation really hit hard in 2020 with a worldwide pandemic happening, during a time when all working moms (and working people in general) were forced to re-evaluate what matters the most.
My story happens to be that I found fulfillment outside of a traditional 9-to-5 job. I always knew that is what I wanted, but the pandemic made it even more clear that working at home was something I could see myself doing for a very long time to come.
For me pursuing your biggest dreams and goals as a working mom is much more than climbing a corporate ladder. It is finding your purpose and what makes you excited to face the day.
I have undoubtedly been in a situation where I didn’t want to face the day- and it’s not a good feeling.
It feels like a huge weight has been placed on top of you, as you’re laying in bed eyes fluttering and heart racing awake to the alarm clock. You swallow that lump in your throat and sigh with a deep exhale of the impending dread.
I had heard a quote, “I just want a life I don’t feel like I need to take a vacation from.”
That is the goal that I’m constantly striving for.
Having something in your life as a mom that drives your passion is a great tool to keep your mind healthy and focused.
Now don’t get me wrong- I know we all have those days where we can barely function with the lack of sleep or the kids driving us bananas.
But I believe that as long as we return to our true north at the end of the day and reflect on what drives us forward, what lights up our passions, then I think we will equip ourselves with the ability to cope with working motherhood in a way that allows us to be who we truly are without sacrificing our ideals and goals.
No-one else but you knows what truly lights you up and what drives you forward.
As working moms we often feel pulled in many directions, sometimes unsure of which way to turn.
I believe that we can attend to the various directions we are being pulled in by prioritizing what is important to us.
For me the pandemic has made me realize how precious family time truly is.
It made me slow down and realize that I absolutely needed to reevaluate my career direction. Because I could not keep running 100 miles an hour full speed ahead toward a direction in my life that I wasn’t really even sure would bring me career fulfillment. Or any type of fulfillment.
So I took a chance, I pivoted, and already I feel happier with that decision.
Whatever direction you decide to follow, working motherhood is always going to bring a certain set of challenges along for the ride.
I believe that it is what we choose to do with those challenges and how we respond that will determine a unique path forward.
So take that chance, and take the baby steps toward your dreams and goals.
Ambition doesn’t stop when we become moms and in my case it grew stronger, but in a different direction than what society was telling me to do.
Trust in yourself and in your gut instinct – it usually is pretty spot on.
I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite authors and entrepreneurs, Marie Forleo.
“No matter what you’re facing you have what it takes to figure anything out and become the person you’re meant to be.”
We are moms, we are strong and we got this!!