Today is MAY 1 and we’re celebrating the International Workers’ Day. But as Mothers – working in the offices, banks, posts, shops, factories, at homes, at schools and many more they’re are ALL strong, independent Women and Mothers.
I want to talk about what motherhood means for me. And about how to find JOY in motherhood, being a woman that choose (or have to) be a full working parent.
In the past, I spent a lot of time feeling guilty for trying to be good at my work and raise my babies at the same time. I felt guilty when I missed a milestone in my young sons’ lives because I was working. I felt guilty when I was traveling for work and my daughter cried during my absences. I felt guilty for not giving them more of my time and attention because my teaching practice demanded those limited resources too.
And I often felt guilty for choosing to work. I judged myself and thought I was a bad mom for needing something more than motherhood to feel fulfilled and challenged in life.
But eventually (ok, years later), I realized that the guilt wasn’t serving me, or doing my kids or work situation any good either. The guilt just kept me feeling stuck and distracted; its near-constant presence made it hard for me to focus fully on my family or fully on my work, because I was always preoccupied with whatever I wasn’t doing at the time.
So I gave myself permission to let go of the guilt and started focusing on the reasons I shouldn’t feel guilty for working instead. Turns out, there were huge benefits to me being an entrepreneur. I just hadn’t acknowledged them until now.
Now I know I will always have a choice: I can feel guilty for being a high-achieving woman who wants to make a difference through my work. Or I can focus on all the good things that happen because I have the drive and courage to be an entrepreneur and a present, engaged mom.
I have to tell you: Working is good for your soul.
When I first admitted that I wanted to be more than a mom, I felt a lot of shame that motherhood wasn’t the end all, be all for me – especially because I knew how much I had to be grateful for as the mother of two healthy, happy children. And yet, I also knew I wanted to own more than the title of mom in my lifetime.
I’ve since come to realize that there’s no shame in moving past the guilt so I can fuel my soul with work that I love, and work that benefits others too.
Because working makes me feel like the very best version of me and it brings me joy that overflows into other areas of my life.
The mom guilt is real and it’s persistent – in fact, it still shows up from time to time in my own life. But over the years, I’ve learned that when you focus on the things that working brings to your life, instead of all that guilt, good things will come your way.
Happy May 1 to you, Mamas!