When I first became a mom, I remember thinking that all my hopes and dreams were over. I was 22, young, ambitious but not very mature. I never imagined that I could be a mother AND a good wife AND a career woman AND a friend AND just about anything else.
Here are some of the myths that held me hostage:
1) I thought I had to be selfless: The moment I found out I was pregnant, I thought I had to throw out every dream that was in my head-and I had many. That was so difficult for me because I’ve always been extremely ambitious. I spent a great deal of my time caring for my son, but I was unfulfilled because I had put my goals on the backburner. Not taking care of my needs had me feeling completely lost. You could say I had a crisis of identity.
2) I thought I couldn’t have any fun: I thought all mothers were supposed to spend every waking hour thinking about their kids. I would feel guilt just thinking of letting someone I trusted watch my child while I went out with my husband. Not only was I miserable, my husband was miserable too because I lost my fire.
3) I thought motherhood would make me happy: I read a ton of articles when I was pregnant. I even visited mommy blogs and everyone seemed to paint a rosy picture about motherhood-it was apparently this amazing time that was supposed to bring me endless joy. Now imagine my surprise when this child whom I loved so dearly did not bring me joy 24 hours of the day. Between the endless crying, multiple visits to the doctor, diaper changes, midnight feedings and just being a new clueless mom, I was upset half the time. The truth is I get joy from many things- from my child, from God, from my hobbies, my career and a host of other things. Being a well-rounded woman brings me joy.
4) I thought I had to have all the answers: I had also read that once my baby was born, I was supposed to have my instincts kick in and know exactly what to do. Well, they lied. That was not true for me. I did not know how to breastfeed, I had to learn how to carry my child properly. My son is now 8 years old, and I still consult with other parents on how to raise him. Feeling like I need to know it all just crushes me. Once I learned that it was okay to have confused moments, I took the pressure of my own shoulders.
5) No vision for the future: I was a stay at home mom for 2 years. I chose to do this because I thought I had to suppress my desire to work. Well, that only led me to a very sad place. You see, I have learned that along with having a vision for my children’s futures, I also have to take into account my vision for my own future. At this time, my vision now includes coaching other moms so that they too can find out their vision for their lives and bring them into reality.
Do you have a good work/life balance? Take the quiz here and join our tribe of happy working moms.