When I was pregnant for the first almost 11 years ago I was also well entrenched in my career with a lot of ambitions for my life as a community and sustainability planner. One of the books I read during my pregnancy was “I Don’t Know How She Does It” by Allison Pearson – you have probably heard of it, or seen the movie adaptation with Sarah Jessica Parker as the harried working Mom. Well, (spoiler alert but hey, it is a 2011 movie) they have different endings…
In the book the Executive and Mom quits her job to be home with her children and in the movie she keeps on going, juggling it all. Hmm…I guess the masses aren’t ready for the book ending? To be honest I wasn’t either and I remember actually throwing the book across the room when I finished it. Now I love books and never do that but I was that upset by the ending! And of course I was pregnant and hormonal…but seriously, I was upset that there wasn’t some magical ending that solved all the challenges of working motherhood. And I hadn’t even lived any of it yet!
Fast forward 11 years later and I have now lived many different versions of a mother who works – working full-time in an office, working part-time in an office, working on contracts through my own consulting business, working full-time as the primary parent (aka stay-at-home mom), starting a network marketing business, and now business owner and entrepreneur. It took me a long time to get it right, and let be real here, it’s still changing although more subtly now.
There is so much pressure and judgment around motherhood, working full time, part time, stay-at-home, opt-in, opt-out (of career or parenting, take your pick) it can drive you crazy!! Maybe it’s a Gen X thing, wanting to have it all at the same time and feeling guilty or the ‘grass is always greener’ whatever you choose…time will tell, I guess, as Millennials become parents.
I realize now that through all the iterations I was actually figuring out who I AM. I love this quote by the late Bill Gove, recognized as the father of professional speaking. Bill Gove was also one of Bob Proctor’s mentors, who is now my mentor.
“If I want to be free, I’ve gotta be me. Not the me that I think you think I should be. Not the me that I think my wife/husband thinks I should be. Not the me that I think my kids think I should be. If I want to be free, I’ve got be me. So I better know who me is.”
We can go through years of education, professional and personal achievements and still not really know who we are!
In the spirit of February love and romance, I encourage you to take some time to spend time with YOURSELF, to love YOURSELF, and get to know YOU a little better these last few February days. Turn off the external stimuli and pressures (and your phone!), turn off the voices in the center of your head telling you what to do and what to think (how did they get in there anyway??), make a cup of tea, sit there, and just BE. You’ll be amazed at what can learn about yourself when you make the time to listen! xo
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles FreeDigitalPhotos.net