From the day I found out I was pregnant, I realized I couldn’t go back to the job I had. Not only because of the four hours of daily commuting and constant travel. Most importantly it wasn’t a kind environment to the mom I wanted to be. Back then in 2013, I couldn’t access my email remotely, I wasn’t given a cell phone, and there wasn’t the flexibility that a new mom needs. On top of it, the last thing I wanted to do was to start job searching during my maternity leave. Starting over just sounded so exhausting and painful. I was already in enough of that as my “lower-region” was still on fire, I barely had the energy to wash my armpits with a baby wipe, and my boobs were on duty 24-7. But what else was I going to do? I refused to be the Stay-at-Home-Mom I declared I’d never be. In the meantime, my big foot was prepared to be inserted into my big mouth.
Being home to raise Brooklyn wasn’t good enough. I created this ridiculous story and believed it was true. There were years of discussions and vodka lemonades with my single friends without kids that created this mindset. Ignorant scenarios of what life would be like as a SAHM in the suburbs, as if we had any clue.
What are we running from and WHY?
We live in a society that can create doubt in our worth and insecurity with what we offer as mothers. We can have pride in movements within our career. Boast about running the NYC Marathon. Cheer as she strengthens her body back from cancer. Yet, birthing a human and raising a human doesn’t seem worthy of celebration. Why is motherhood not exciting enough?
In general, our worth on this earth seems to be tied to how we contribute to society economically, and that doesn’t change when you become a mother. As a result, we find ourselves endlessly trying to prove our worth and questioning our value as mothers. This is BS. Why do we seem to run from the word “mom” instead of embracing and wearing that badge with pride?
OK, so what is really going on here Mom?
Human beings, and especially moms, have a deep internal desire to know our significance in the world. We need to feel important, valued, and that we are making a difference. We need to be told this. I’m still trying to figure out why there is disconnect with this need when we become mothers. We question our significance in the world, to a point where we become the most insecure that we’ve ever been in our lives. Which then results in the behavior of “one-upping”, comparing, justifying, searching, getting in the “I’M SO BUSY!” trap, and proving to others what our purpose on earth is as mothers. We thrive on goal setting, accountability, praise, annual reviews, raises, promotions, and someone in front of us VALIDATING us. When I became a mother, I didn’t have any of that. Not even ONE day.
As humans and mothers, we also have the desire to grow, which can be lost in motherhood, as we tend to focus on that other human being that’s growing. What’s beautiful about growth is that its form is unique to everyone based on what’s important to them as an individual. Yet another reason not to compare! For me, this is an innate feeling to always be learning and finding ways I can become the best version of me.
Another basic human desire is to give and contribute to the world. Unfortunately, like I said earlier, society seems to tie our value and worth to financial and economic contribution. Otherwise, your passion is “just a hobby”, a waste of time, or it doesn’t really matter. Says who and who is making the rules here?! I will tell you this right now: Your value is not tied to what you deposit into the bank. It’s time to change your belief in what your worth truly is, what you can give yourself and the world around you, and why you’re needed on this earth.
I wish I knew…
- I needed to honor my guilt with my decision to leave my career and figure out how to work with the guilt versus ignore it or get stuck in it for too long.
- That quitting something doesn’t mean I’m a failure. It may simply mean I needed to say goodbye to something that wasn’t meant for this season to welcome something that is.
- My dreams don’t need to make me famous to matter.
- Whether I stayed at home, went back to work, or tried to create world peace, people were already judging me. So why not just do what makes me happy?
- Knowing what I wanted was the hardest part.
- I didn’t need a salary to feel important or that I’m contributing to my family and world around me.
- My goals for my life can change and evolve. That doesn’t make me a flake.
- I’m not indecisive or a hot mess because I want multiple things in my life. It’s beautiful to have many passions and to explore them.
- That I needed to pay attention to the season of life I was in and what truly worked for me. Just because I couldn’t do it at that time, didn’t mean I could never do it.
- I’m going to doubt myself and a LOT. I wish I knew those were the best times for me to check in and see if I needed to make any changes, take a new path, or say goodbye to something.
- That as moms, we push our own dreams way down deep inside because it’s in our nature to take care of others first.
- That if my dream didn’t happen right away, that was normal! Dreams can take time, especially when I’m raising a human. I wish I knew how to find patience in an instant gratification world.
At the end of the day…
The only person that truly knows your story, what you give, and how unique you are, you guessed it, is YOU. Sounds obvious but in our world of outside noise coming in the forms of family, social media, books, television, movies, other moms and even that icky voice inside your head- you may need help to quiet things down, get the “inner filter” and make time to find what makes you the unique and proud to be on this planet. It will take time to find the woman behind the mom or career. There will be bumps in the road, some self-doubt and much needed patience to get there.
You can listen more on “The Honest Mom Podcast’s” episode, “When You’re not Sure you Want to be a SAHM… But now What?!” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/when-youre-not-sure-you-want-to-be-a-sahm-but-now-what/id1596159988?i=1000554392633