From Marketing to Motherhood

Being a mom is a great part of my life. It’s new, fun, adventurous, but this beautiful job is not a career and it’s certainly not fulfilling my desire to succeed, nor does it make me feel accomplished.

To bring these thoughts out in the open may seem harsh or insensitive to sahm’s or women who dream of conceiving, but to me it’s something I feel like I have to keep my mouth shut about and fake the fullness that children are supposed to bring to my life.

When you become a mom, the world starts to believe that this was your sole purpose. Consider ‘Mom’ to be your only title from here on out. Everything else in your life – career, friends, alone time – is just part of a support system to aide in your primary mission of being the best mom you can be. You may go to work or do something for yourself, but society wants us to feel guilty about it.

I love my daughters, but there is a big part of me that misses my old working life. And no amount of nursery rhymes, baby milestones, or cooking meals for my children will ever replace that.

In the last few months, I have been earning a living through freelance writing. It keeps the food on their high chairs and the shoes on their feet, but it’s not enough. For me, anyways.

Since early spring, I’ve been taking my time to apply to places that are looking for my professional background, experience, and education. I have no problem making it through to the interview phase, and yet the opportunities continue to go nowhere.

I am not ashamed of being a mom and so it will inevitably come up when I start discussing my life and current work. I don’t let the fact that I have children affect what I do. I have help and time and the ability to continue on with my career. Although, I can’t help but think that being a mother is a factor when potential employers are sifting through would-be hires.

Before I had babies, finding work was never an issue. I’m driven, experienced, and can give a good interview. But now it is a struggle.

The only thing that’s changed is the fact that I’m a mother.

Even the opportunities I do get are directed at women who are home with the kids; writing for baby websites and baby products.

I’ll say it again. I’m not ashamed of my children, but it makes me wonder if it’s even worth mentioning during the interview process.

I am capable of much more than being a mom. I pursued a life in marketing and paid good money for that dream to become a reality. The student debt still hangs over me and will be there for a long time. I owe it to my education and life to succeed in the field I am good at.

But it’s not about the money. Our bills are paid and we live comfortably.

It’s about the career. It’s about the passion and the work and the sense of accomplishment. It’s about the company culture and deadlines and clients. It’s about the stress and job well done. It’s about so much more than a salary.

It’s about being fulfilled as a person, and not as a mom.

Employers. Please don’t pigeonhole me for being fertile.

In fact, don’t discriminate against any hardworking, career-oriented mothers. Women are great at multitasking and we’re more than capable of juggling a career and children. Give us a shot. I’m sure we’ll all surprise you.

On a lighter note, this has opened up a new opportunity for me, one that is directed at giving up on finding employment and taking the reigns to create it. That’s right.

I am (slowly) looking to start my own business in providing content marketing services.

It may sound exciting and admirable, but the truth is that I’m terrified to take that step. To sacrifice security and comfort and to attempt something that could fail is something I have to constantly convince myself of being the right decision.

It’s a thought that I have abandoned and resurrected about a hundred times.

All that to say, sometimes us hardworking moms just need to create our own opportunities, and many already have.

To those who don’t let motherhood define them, you’re a rock star. Email me and let me know how you managed to take that next step for you and your family.

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3 Out of 5

I have recently been reading Thrive by Arianna Huffington and, although I’m not too far into it, a bit of text caught my eye and has been sitting in my brain. She quoted Randi Zuckerberg’s entrepreneur’s dilemma. When it comes to being successful within the five key areas of your life – work, sleep, friends, family, and fitness – you must only choose three. So 3/5Β is the magic fraction if you want to achieve success in those areas. If you wanted to be perfect and well-balanced in all areas, then the book indicates that you just won’t get there. You’ll wear yourself thin and then you won’t be successful in any area because you’re not spending the time you need on it. The idea that Arianna Huffington supports and writes about in her book is that you must be a little imbalanced, and accept that you’re not a superhero.

I’ve been craving ultimate success my whole life, trying to make sure that each of those areas gets the focus it deserves. I believe that giving each of them a piece of my attention has worked well for me. I was a firm advocate for being able to have it all! But those days were best lived when I was single and did not have two little ones to tend to.

Now that I have a family, those words by Zuckerberg and the support of Huffington is hitting close to home. It seems as if I really do need to choose three in order to find success in those categories of life’s fulfillment. I just don’t have the time or the energy for it anymore. I need to narrow down what’s most important to me and dedicate myself to them.

Well, the first one is a no-brainer. Sleep. Sleep is most important to achieve success in ANYTHING. At least for me. Some people can function off of five hours and be able to run triathlons and crap. I need at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep. To get there will take a lot of supportive participation from Sophie and Chloe, and dedication and discipline on my part. When the babies go to sleep, all I want to do is enjoy the sweet couple of hours I get to indulge in adult life. Watch Netflix, take a shower, catch up on reading, play video games, have a beer, scour social media, whatevs.

The second, again, is a piece of cake. Family. I love my little, complete family and want to spend time with them whenever I can, and give them space when it’s due. I want to make sure my babies are reaching their milestones, gaining independence, learning, and are well-fed and happy. I want to nurture them, love and snuggle them, and provide for them. And in order to provide for them, well you see where my third choice is going.

Work. I love what I do and love that my work allows me to do it. I love feeling valued, respected, and proud of the work that I do. I’ve always wanted to achieve success when it comes to my career, and now that success is trickling down to my family.

Choosing three out of five was easy for me, but that doesn’t mean that friends and fitness is not important to me either. Each of those areas in my life are very important to me and I hope to make a little timeΒ for each of them. Even if it’s once a week. I might have to pencil you into my calendar once a month for a weeknight dinner or Sunday morning coffee date. And you might also be competing for a spot alongside my weekly yoga class. Either way, friends, body, you will not be forgotten. I ask that you just take patience in knowing that I love you and will make sure that plans are made to keep you both in my life and in shape.