You know the feeling, right?
It’s hard to put into words and hard to explain, but it’s clear enough to you.
That rattling sensation that you want do more, yet you can’t.
Yes, you adore your baby and dreams you had about being a mom now have turned real. Your life is richer. Finally you arrived at that important life milestone: your own child to cuddle, hug and help grow into an adult to be proud of.
People talk to you as if you’ve crossed the doorstep of “Happily ever after”. As if, what else could a woman wish for? As if, motherhood is ‘final destination’.
But that’s not enough. Something is missing.
You feel tormented about missing out on doing the work your called to do.
Sure, you love your child to the moon and back. And while that is 100% true, being a mother and having a child to you is one important part of life. But not the only one.
You feel the pressure of society, friends and family who disapprove of any ‘stray’ desires. But to you, these aren’t nice to haves. These aren’t mere desires.
It’s your yearning to do the work you’re being called to. It’s wishing to feel smart and achieving challenging goals. Those thoughts on how to make the world a better place, even a tiny bit, that makes the world of difference to you.
You feel the disappointment that, whenever the child has a need, it’s everybody’s expectation that YOU drop everything and care to your offspring.
Society expects that, your in laws expect that, your extended family too. Even your life partner. In day to day life, he backs off from his self-proclaimed status of involved father. He proclaimed balance and involvement of both parents —that was, in the life you both had, before the colic white nights.
It’s not that he no longer wants to be a good father, he sais. It’s that caring for a kid is so damn demanding! It becomes annoying. He reminds you how women are much better at this, after all, they’re genetically programmed to care for their offspring. And off he goes.
Yes, you feel being let down.
And you come to realize that being a mother is… yes, beautiful, but also harder than what you anticipated. And on top of that, you sense that somehow, in society, it’s not acceptable to complain about how it’s unfair to suddenly have more responsibilities and less support.
And you become better, more organized, more efficient, and juggle the many responsibilities in the same time.
Yet, it’s not enough.
You realize that one of the superpowers of a mother who wants a career must be providing sources of reliable help — for herself and the children.
Whether it’s enough money to have a nanny or paid sitter. Or a good relationship with the in-laws. Or with some neighbor that talks too much, but could have a child supervised. Or some friends with whom you create a network of sitters.
No, a mother cannot make a day have 30 hours.
A mother understands that getting back her adult life and career is a long term game, and that confidence, persistence and patience are her superpowers.
Career mom, what’s your superpower?