Oftentimes, people will warn you about pursuing a career while raising a child. The thought of working while also tending to baby is already enough to deter any parent. The duties, the need for attention, and costs when you are raising a child are already overwhelming on their own. So why did I still chose to work?
I am a naturally ambitious person. I always enjoy getting out of my comfort zone and pushing boundaries. The reward for my hard work pays off is always worth the struggles and tears that I’ve shed. However, I know my limitations now that I am a mom. And of course, my priority is always going to be my baby.
Throughout my pregnancy, I am already thinking about how it’s going to be more difficult to balance my work and life. However, I already have my mind on achieving my goals. I know that I needed to fulfill my inner self and do this. Besides, studies have shown that pregnancy affects social cognition, memory, and creativity. I might as well take advantage of them and use them to enhance my skills.
It’s Possible to Return
Yes, you heard that right! It is still possible to return to your previous job. Especially if you have a good standing, there’s no need to doubt yourself that you can still do your job. After having a baby, I felt a bit disconnected from who I previously was. And this is completely normal. You used to have a lot of time for yourself, and now you’re getting used to taking care of another human being. It can be hard to find the time to motivate yourself, but it is possible.
It’s not going to be a quick process, but I find a slow and steady approach more effective. And from here, I want to tell you that going back to your career or starting a new career doesn’t mean that you’re neglecting your baby. You can rediscover or discover a new light inside of you without forgetting about motherhood.
For me, I started by managing the time I have. When I know I won’t be able to be at home to breastfeed my baby; I pump in advance. Sometimes, I even bring my electric breast pump with me on car trips. As mentioned by this source, nowadays, there are units that are made for discrete pumping.
When you feel fulfilled with your own, you’ll have lesser chances of getting overwhelmed with motherhood. You might need to reignite your passion or get in touch with your own self. But trust me, it is never too late. There is no timeline or deadline to pursue your career.
And if you’re coming back to the same job, your employer might be willing to adjust his/her demands for you. Perhaps you can find a different schedule or workplace that’s more fitting for a working mom like yourself. I was able to find a more flexible schedule by working at home, which also allowed me to enjoy my new role as a mom. Depending on your standing, your company might even be able to change your role. Get in touch with your skills. Know which of them are applicable and flexible for other roles. Start by focusing on your interests and strengths.
After having a baby, I also decided to expand my horizons. The reason for this is because I know my abilities and limitations. I know that if I let myself get into a fulfilling career, I’ll be a better mother for my baby. However, I’m also aware of my new limitations now that I have a little one depending on me.
You can also check out communities of other working moms. It might seem overwhelming at first, but it is so much better to have a space of people with the same outlook, needs, and daily tasks. This is also where I found out ideas of how to become a mom entrepreneur and start selling my baked goodies every Christmas. This career is completely different from my other one, but it allowed me to discover a new side of myself. At the same time, it enhanced my skills that were once for a hobby, but now also works as an additional source of income.
However, don’t pressure yourself to get everything right and booming the first time. It might take you longer to venture into a new career compared to other moms. Just remember that the best version of yourself is never lost. It’s just waiting for the right time to come out.
Taking your time also allows you to discover other potential industries that are probably more rewarding than your target one. Perhaps you didn’t get it right with a certain industry because you’ll be more successful with the next one. I know someone who was a lawyer but became a work-at-home writer. It has always been her dream to pursue that career, and now that she can, she’s also able to spend more time with her child.
You Can Start Now
Let’s say you have this career that you want to pursue, and you told yourself that you would continue it after you give birth to your baby. But now that you think about it, the idea seems to be scary and unrealistic. You feel like you are limited by experiences. Is going out of your comfort zone worth it?
I look at my baby as an inspiration. Not only because of the challenges of carrying my little one for night months and the intense pain of labor on the day we first met. But I want to inspire him that you can always chase your dreams, no matter what timeline you are in your life. Perhaps you are familiar with the quote, “Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20.”
Reflect on what you’ve achieved and tap your inner believer. It is possible to learn new things. You can always apply your skills and strengthen them. If not, know that you have once started as someone who has zero knowledge on a certain aspect. I know moms who got back in college and finish their degrees while juggling their mommy duties and night shifts at work.
At first, I was very exhausted. It’s inevitable that you’re going to lose sleep, especially during the first few months with your baby. However, I communicated with my partner on how we can divide the parent duties among ourselves. And when family and friends offer to help, we use these opportunities to get our “me times.” Know that you have to shift your mindset of thinking you have no time.