After I had my son, Oliver, I was unsure about what life as a working mom would be like. I assumed that life would be a bit more stressful and that I’d have all kinds of competing demands. This is all turned out to be true. Life is harder now than it was, but I truly love being a working mom. And to my great surprise, it has enhanced my career in ways I never imagined. Here’s how.
Before Oliver came along, I was working a job that I liked, but didn’t feel any real passion toward. I had thought about making a change, but I was also coasting pretty comfortably and wasn’t sure if it was worth the effort. When I returned to work after my maternity leave, however, I saw things completely differently. If I was going to be spending precious time away from my adorable son, I was going to be doing it for something I loved. That was ultimately what pushed me to leave my good job for my new, great job. Today, I’m proud of the work that I do, and I know that some day, Oliver will be proud of it too.
In addition to a renewed sense of professional purpose, the new chaos of life has helped me to become much more organized and attentive to detail, while also becoming more flexible when things don’t go as planned. I use these skills to navigate every day life and they’ve made me a better, more thoughtful employee as a result. Of course, working parents have a hard time managing alone. As they say, it takes a village. Relying on others and learning the art of delegation hasn’t been easy, but it’s made life more manageable and is a valuable skill that I’ve also taken with me into the workplace. While I always viewed my personal and professional lives as separate, sometimes opposed, entities, it turns out they can actually influence and complement each other in really great ways.
If you’re a working parent, how has having children changed you?