Thursday, 17 November 2011
Birth of a mother, death of a career...and what next?
Saturday will be E1's 4th birthday. All week I've been focusing on creating a fun 'pink' party for her & it's been surprisingly, a very time consuming thing. Cakes, decorations, party games (I'm going old school on these! Woohoo!), presents, party bags and more... Who would have thought that my precious four year old daughter could have a better social life than me? (What's a social life?)
Tomorrow is the anniversary-eve of my birth, into motherhood.
Four years ago, I was excited, nervous and quite frankly - MASSIVE! I was 10 days overdue waiting for our darling girl to arrive and on the brink of a dreaded induction. Little did I know that 2 days, a painful induction, eight and a half hours of labour and an emergency c-section later, my whole world would be changed in a way that I could never even have dreamed of.
E1 is the spitting image of her dad. Gorgeous big brown eyes and dark features. She's petite too - our little skinny mini. But when it comes to personality...whoa mumma! She's me 26 years later, there's no doubt about it. That has a lot to do with why my family has a bit of a laugh every time she's loud and a little crazy.
I can see myself in her... and I love it. I celebrate it - even when she drives me mad ;) Even if her 'mummy streak' is lamented by some, I will always defend my girl. She's spirited, outgoing, animated, entertaining and happy (most of the time) and I am proud to be her mum. Her brother, E2, who's almost two, and I am also very proud of is a much calmer kid and a total mumma's boy, but he also loves to copy his crazy big sister.
In the midst of pink streamers, painting banners and creating 'pin the wand on the fairy', I came to this realisation.
I have not 'worked' for four years. (Aside from a brief stint pre-E2).
Now, if I had it my way, I'd make a permanent career out of being a stay at home mum. I know some women have a desire to return to work and I respect their decision. I am not one of these women. I would quite happily never return to an office again if it could be avoided.
I adore my current job. My employers, while often demanding, reward me with love and snuggles and I wouldn't have it any other way. But I can see that at some point soon, I may need to return to work if we ever have any hope of actually owning our own home.
The realisation of this over the last few weeks has brought on a whole new emotion when it comes to work.
With the glorious onset of motherhood came the complete loss of my identity as a career woman.
In my past life, I was a business coach and team leader. And a pretty good one. I found success in supporting others to achieve their goals by harnessing the skills they already had and building on it with new ones. I thrived off people's success and their sense of achievement when they reached their goals with my help. I managed teams and their performance and behaviours and met targets. I liked what I did and I did it well.
But as I sat down to write a resume a few weeks back - all of a sudden, my mind was a total blank.
It's as if my baby brain has not yet departed and I couldn't remember ANYTHING about my past life! No dates. No roles and responsibilities. No positions held. A complete blank.
Along with my apparently missing brain cells, went my confidence.
If I can't even remember my resume - how the hell am I going to convince anyone that I'm worth hiring?
But even more terrifying than that - can I maintain being a good mother to my children, being present for them and ensuring I not only meet, but exceed their needs and expectations, if I'm working at night and spending the day with them?
Can I juggle? Can I balance? Can I keep everyone entertained and happy without dropping the ball? (Gosh, with all those analogies, it sounds like I should just run away and join the circus!)
I don't have the answers to this. I would love to hear from some of you incredible parents, mum's and dad's, on how you handle the work/life/family balance dilemma. How did you cope with the complete loss of your pre-child identity? And how did you get it back (if at all)? Perhaps you've created a whole new identity.
I guess that this is a BIG thing that I need a small answer too. Ha! I'm a work in progress so who knows - perhaps there's a new version of me waiting to be discovered?!
Or perhaps I'm making a small thing into something BIG?
Whether I return to work soon or not is yet to be seen but I think, judging from the above, I have a few personal hurdles to jump first before I'm ready. But when the time comes, I will JFDI!
In the meantime, I'm off to get some sleep before a full day tomorrow of baking, wrapping, decorating and party planning.
Happy weekend :)