By Taylor Brown
Preparing for motherhood is no easy task, you've got diaper genies, breast pumps, teeny, tiny pairs of socks, highchairs, car seats, and things that you've never heard of but will inevitably be "life savers."
You'll hear the stories from other parents to help prepare you, but that will really just go into scaring you. You'll prepare yourself for a year of sleepless nights, diaper rashes, soothers underfoot, and slowly becoming the messiest family at every restaurant.
These are all things you'll try your best to prepare yourself for.
Working at Women Who Run It, an inbox magazine dedicated to bringing women the best information on their career, and their life, I've spoken to countless working mothers. What I've heard time and time again is that most women have found that they missed out on the chance to prepare themselves for what their career will look like after they've had a baby. Not only will they be seen differently in the workforce but more importantly, most women tend to see the workforce differently themselves.
A resounding number of women have shared with me that they found themselves surprised by their views of the world after they had children. They expected to have their lives completely changed, but they didn't usually imagine that this change would extend to the office.
Here are some surprising revelations that many a working mother has shared with me:
1. I don't want to work anymore!
I know. This sounds like a sentence that you would never utter.
You're a career-oriented woman who has busted her butt for years to get where you are. Your confidence lies in your career. You. Are. Your. Job.
Post-baby, you probably won't see the world this way anymore. Trust me, even the most competent, boardroom-running beauty will reshuffle her priorities so that her new bundle of joy is the end-all, be-all light of her life.
Your job won't look the same to you anymore. All that sweat, blood, and those tears that you shed for your career won't be worth it when you look at your child.
Many women have found that they just don't want to leave their children for a thankless career. The time with their child is too precious and each second at an office steals from that.
2. But I do want to work
Of course, you're still the same person. You're still a super-achieving woman who values her independence and ability to get stuff done. Underneath those sweatpants and unwashed hair is the slick, self-assured, achievement-oriented woman that you once were.
Having children does not make you throw away your ambition, you'll still want to work, it will just have to look differently.
3. I just need to make working work for "us"
Because there is no "me" anymore!
Instead of putting yourself through the grueling world of 9-5, commuting, overtime, high heels, and boardrooms, you'll be looking for something a little more flexible.
Many working moms manage to find careers that work for them! That means working from home, having flexible hours, and the ability to take care of their children when it's needed.
From now on your resume will read your name and your child's name because you'll be considering them with every business decision you make.
4. Luckily, there's a world of possibilities out there
I mentioned that I've spoken to many mothers about this issue. I wasn't speaking to them for any old reason, I was speaking to them because they have found success despite this. It is possible!
We have so much to learn from the women who have blazed this trail before us, don't just stop on their advice about how your career will look after you've had your baby, look at what else they have to say. Most importantly: that it can be done. There are so many different career opportunities out there for women who want flexibility and control, you just need to find your passion.
What I've seen time and time again is that not only have all of these women found different career paths, showing how many different ways you can go after becoming a mother, but also that they've become happier and more successful due to this new transition.
You can prepare your home and life as much as you want with all of those little necessities that babies seem to need. Unless you prepare yourself for what you'll need when they come, what you'll see when you look at your career, then you may find yourself very confused, and very torn between two lifestyles that are not so sympatico. Prepare yourself, and prepare your life, and you'll be able to navigate going from a working woman to a working mom with ease.
Creating a life that you love doesn't have to be challenging. Your priorities may have changed, but you can still live a life of your dreams.
About the Author
Taylor Brown is an Associate Editor at Goddess Connections for the Women Who Run It inbox magazine. She is a resident of Toronto and she has a passion for exploring topics on health and fitness, and enjoys writing stories about women's issues. She also enjoys writing about business and how to build a career. When she is not working for Women Who Run It you can find her exploring Toronto, going for jogs, or simply enjoying life as a strong, empowered woman who runs it. Her goal is to share stories that help women of all walks of life take control of their lives and create balance with ease.