I married my husband when I was two weeks shy of my 22nd birthday, a mere month after graduating college. I became a mother to my firstborn at the ripe young age of 24. Until that point, my “career” was as a full-time nanny. When my son was born, I struggled with identity but not in the way that most do. My career and motherhood weren’t much different, except that I didn’t get to “clock out” of motherhood when the clock struck six, and I no longer received my puny little paycheck. Instead of missing my career, I struggled with missed opportunity for such career.
It felt like my chance to have a grown-up job was over. Rather than starting a career with the rest of the 20-somethings, I spent those years being a wife and mother. While my mom-friends complained about their missing paychecks, I wondered if I’d ever have something like that of my own. For a hot second, I made some pocket change as a Mary Kay consultant, but it was never enough to depend on. Shoot, it hardly counted as a light hobby. Aside from the lack of profit, I also didn’t enjoy it. I’m not offended by MLMs, and even support quite a few, but personally I found little-to-no fulfillment in the job.
In 2015, I gave birth to my daughter. The power of her birth was so inspiring that I finally joined the Fort Worth Moms Blog team as a contributing writer, something I’d pondered since the blog started. I felt empowered by my new role as a girl mom. Published writing was/is thrilling and stretching; it pushes me way out of my comfort zone. I enjoy using my brain to create sentences for adult people to read.
After a year on the team, I began digging into my passions. I had a yearning in my spirit to start something new, something big, something all of myself. If you asked me, I couldn’t pinpoint exactly when or how the idea implanted, but it didn’t take long to land on the idea of becoming a doula. I love birth, and I love encouragement . . . it made perfect sense to follow that path.
You see, becoming a mother isn’t always about remembering who you were before. Sometimes it’s about finding who you are now. I don’t know where my passions will lead me in the long run. Maybe I’ll be a doula forever, or maybe I’ll go back to school to become a midwife. Who knows. One thing is for sure: Becoming a mother didn’t take away my identity. It gave me a new one, and a much better one at that. I have a reason, outside of myself, for being better, working harder, and not giving up. Not working in my 20s didn’t take me out of the career game forever; it potentially kept me from working a job I hated.
Entering motherhood is one of the most challenging rites of passage we will face in this life. It stretches us beyond capacity. Careers come and go, but you don’t get to quit your children. We all know this because we’ve been on “vacations” with them. It’s the job that keeps on going. Even when you’re not with them, you’re thinking about them 24/7. Wondering if they’re well, if you’re doing enough, if you’re getting “it” right. If we can do this thing all day, everyday, we can do so much more!
I don’t know your story. Maybe you found your calling before kids. Or maybe you’ve never felt lost in the middle of the night. Whatever your story, it’s important to know that motherhood is not the end of life. It is, in fact, just the beginning. Literally. If you’re pregnant now and wondering what career life will look like after delivery, rest in the hope that nothing is final, until it’s final. There is always time to do more, later. Go back to work four weeks postpartum, or wait until you find something worth going back for. Whatever you choose, choose it because it makes sense in your spirit, not just your bank account.