05 Feb New baby and new career, I can have both… Right?
I am one of those “I can do it all” people.
Yep, I’m one of those marathon running, full time work-part time studying, lots of balls in the air types of people. I always have been and it didn’t change when I fell pregnant. I kicked pregnancy’s butt, no morning sickness, minimal weight gain and loads of energy.
You hate me little already don’t you? But stick with me.
I figured I would also smash motherhood out of the park and that my baby would be another ball I kept in the air. I planned to take advantage of my 12 months maternity leave by developing my professional profile, expanding my blog and finding some new opportunities. I had plans to read books, watch webinars and keep in contact with my professional networks. In short, I was casually going to carve out a whole new career for myself while caring for a tiny human.
I know this isn’t totally unachievable with some hard work, but the problem is I am also one of those “if there is something to be done it needs to be done immediately'” types of people. So by the end of my first week as a mum I was already suffering from a severe case of the “shoulds”.
Instead of watching TV I should watch that webinar or I should start reading that book instead of googling sleep routines for newborns (Ha! Not even Google is helping me with that one).
The “shoulds” came along with a pretty heavy case of the guilts.
One day, while grappling with a particularly spectacular case of the “shoulds”, I took a look at my tiny baby boy who is so completely dependent on me and realised I needed to wake up to myself. I sat myself down and gave myself a stern talking to. If I ever wanted to be any good at being a working mum I was going to need to be both good at my job AND good at being a mum. I’ve already spent over 15 years studying and working hard to be good at my job but I have no idea how to be a good mum. Maternity leave is my chance to learn to be a good mum and I need to dedicate some serious time to nailing motherhood if I am ever going to be able to keep the two giant balls of motherhood and career in the air.
Of course I haven’t totally listened to my own advice. After all I am writing this guest blog post while breastfeeding my 5 week old at 3am. But I am trying to focus on keeping the motherhood ball in the air as my priority and accepting that, for now, I might need to drop the career ball.
I just hope it’s a bouncy ball.
About the Author
Liz is a new mum to gorgeous baby Henry. She is also a dietitian/nutritionist and nutrition blogger. Liz is lover of food, wine and running and is extremely talented at taking on way to many things at once. Liz is currently on 12 months maternity leave, endeavouring to find her feet in her new role as a mum and trying to work out how to cling onto as much of her pre-mum identity as she can.