One of my daily pleasures is the walk the girls and I take to school, or nowadays to camp, in the mornings. Although getting them out the door is a physical challenge akin to an army obstacle course, the 3-block walk is usually blissful.
It’s our time to talk. The girls always seem extra pensive in the mornings as if they’ve spent their dreamtime trying to figure out the things weighing on their minds. One morning, Isabella who was only four at the time said, “Mama, I really want to be an artist and a vet when I grow up. But, I can’t be any of those things because I want to be a mommy more.”
The tears still well up thinking back to that conversation. In that moment, I felt like a failure. Was my struggle in balancing it all so apparent that she couldn’t fathom putting in that much effort? Or perhaps, she just thought I wasn’t a very good mother and blamed my career?
As she kept talking, I realized it had nothing to do with me. So, I gave her examples of the women in her life who are more than one thing: her grandmother who is a hairdresser, sews dresses for her and her sister, and loves to make pizza; or her aunt who at the time was taking art classes at night and working in a big office building during the day.
When we got to school, I looked her straight in the eyes and said, “You can be as many different things as you want to be.”
Her satisfaction that morning didn’t last long. It preoccupied her mind and our morning talks for weeks. Funny thing, a couple of months ago, I started to have the very same conversations with Elia (she’s now four) who’s been curious about babies and being a mommy since she met her brand new cousin. This time, though, I had help from Bella who is a firm believer that mamas can be and do so many other things, too (perhaps I’m doing something right?).
The preoccupation of where or if babies fit into our lives isn’t reserved for four-year olds. It’s something we women carry with us our whole lives and it can influence so many of the decisions we make on our life’s path.
If you don’t believe me, check out today’s episode of The Crazy Good Life where I answer my VERY FIRST viewer question from Andreea who’s wondering if her career will impact her ability to have the family she wants.
I share two suggestions that can help Andreea prepare for the family she has yet to have, but I’m sure you mamas have some secrets up your sleeve that you’ve used to keep the doors open to your career.
Tell us what they are in the comments below. Your answer will not only help Andreea, but I’ll share them with my girls, who I’m sure will come back to this question time and time again.
If you have a question or concern you’re facing about being a working mama (even if you aren’t one just yet), share it with me. It’s likely that other mamas are struggling with the very same thing.
P.S. If your friend is struggling with the idea of having a career and children, send this video their way. It may give them the perspective they need before they make any big decisions.