I was recently talking to a close friend of mine about how it seems like after becoming a mom we lose faith in our ability to be anything more. Now of course, being “more than a mom” is just a book waiting to be written because lets face it, whether you work a full time job, work from home or are a stay at home mom – being a mom is the hardest job of all.
That said, many of us who simply want to do something other than change the diapers, feed the kids, put them to sleep, watch over them and make sure they do something other than watch TV all day, eventually start wondering if there’s more we can do. We toy with taking classes, turning a hobby into a business, working from home, getting a part time job and maybe even a full time one. But the thing is that breaking out of the mom mold takes a lot of bravery, a lot of confidence, and a whole lot of kicking yourself in the butt.
What I realized after this conversation was that it probably happens to every single mom out there. The feeling of doubt. The questioning your abilities. The continuous thorn on your side, constantly making you wonder if you can do it. Can you strive to achieve your professional goals after having kids? And even professional goals is taken with a pinch of salt because so many of us never bounce back on the professional trajectory we were on before our kids entered the picture.
But why the doubt? Why do we as women doubt ourselves after becoming moms? After all, shouldn’t being a mom reinforce the fact that we’re awesome at managing time, multitasking, and pushing ourselves beyond every ounce of human limitation? As my sister puts it, I’m on a different plane. I’m not allowed to compare myself to her when it comes to functioning on little (or no) sleep, carrying on with my day uninterrupted when I’m sick or achieving a thousand things in the day without moaning and groaning (until night that is). According to her, being a mom has placed me on a different planet – where all us moms hang out.
And on this planet, we usually come last. Our children have the first priority, our husbands the second, extended families the third — work gets woven in between the three. And us moms? The ones running the show? I don’t think we ever really get priority – maybe once in a blue moon when our last nerve has been stretched so tight that it could be wrapped around our mothering planet a few times. Until we’re about to snap.
And in between all this juggling and taking care of other people we do what? Doubt ourselves. Now doesn’t this seem to be the silliest thing of all? We’re doing all these things and we think we can’t manage a little job or class or hobby? I mean common! We really need to give ourselves more credit! What are we worried about? That we’ll fail? That people will judge us? That the kids will suffer?
Wait what? The kids will suffer? Not possible – I already said that we make kids the first priority. It’s how we’re wired. Sure other people may have their views and talk behind our backs about how we’re not being good moms. But if you’re a mom, you know there is no way your kids are not going to be the most important thing in your lives. It’s simply not possible on this mothering world of ours.
So – to all you moms out there who are doubting yourselves (and to myself for the moments that I do):
You can do it. You can achieve anything you want.
You really can.