I’ve thought a ton recently about the balance of being a mom and having a career.
There’s no doubt that being a mom is a job. It is all-consuming and to be done well, requires thought, planning, skill and the physical ability to smile every second your baby is awake. Someone sent me an advice column article that describes what full-time moms (and I would argue dads) do all day. One line in particular stuck with me: “It’s constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.” (I used to love reading advice columns … part of my previous life.)
Then I think about the thousands of dollars and six years spent on two degrees, and years building a name for myself in the field of education policy and programs. I enjoy working with passionate people like me who want to improve education for all children, especially those who have the least means. I like thinking about how to solve big problems, and then help implement the solutions.
At times it feels like it’s the 1950s in my household: I believe that it’s one of my priorities to support my husband in his role as breadwinner. That means taking care of the household, in addition to my daughter. So my needs are often squished for what I think is the best for my family unit.
But I always knew I’d return to work in some capacity once Bean was older than a newborn. Now that she’s six months, I’m itching to balance being a mom and having my career. That’s why I created my own consulting practice before baby, to lay the groundwork. It’s time to pick up the steam!
So what am I going to do? Here are few things I’ve targeted as goals:
- Attend a one-day conference about how moms can make work and motherhood work. I am going to wear pants that button and not have elastic at the waist, and network with like-minded women.
- Keep writing this blog. I want to continue honing my writing skills, and show potential-clients what I can do with words.
- Engage with new people in the areas of outdoor and music education. I want to help kids have fun while learning, and I think using music and nature are the way to go. This is the piece I am least clear on but most passionate about.
This month I’ve done two new things to foster my career and creativity: I entered contests that helped me practice my skills and may get me exposure to new audiences. I wrote an essay for the Real Simple Magazine Life Lessons contest, and today I entered four photos into Meadowlark Botanical Gardens’ Juried Exhibition of Nature Photography. See my Gallery for the photos I entered.
I am one of those women who just want everything – the whole enchilada. My daughter will grow up to see a hard-working mom and career woman, who values the people in her family and works to make the world a better place.