Sounds crazy right? I’ve actually been more successful in my career since having a child than I ever was before, and it’s due to a number of reasons. I credit a shift in perspective and full blown exhaustion as the main contributors to my success over the past few years.
I was too tired for the Bullshit or Overthinking. I had my first interview for a promotion just WEEKS after coming back from my measly 2 months of maternity leave. My daughter was 5 weeks early, so I was far from prepared to come back and barely had my feet under me. My C-section wounds were still painful and healing. I recently was looking back and thought “how in the world did I beat out the competition with all of that against me”? And then it came to me that while there were a lot of factors, at the end of the day I was too tired to overanalyze and second guess myself. I knew what I had to offer and I knew what I was worth. Period. Oh and that next promotion? There wasn’t even a job opening. I told them they needed to create it for me because I deserved it and they agreed. There is NO way I would have had the cojones to do that pre-motherhood! I finally realized I was my own best advocate and gave myself the credit I never had before.
My child was now my first priority, not my job. When I became a mom I had a completely new reason for living which helped make any issues that happened at work seem so much smaller! This also led me to being more solution driven and productive because 1. I wasn’t distracted by being emotionally tied to work projects and 2. I wanted to get home to be with my kiddo as soon as possible. I’m sorry, but putting a 25 page deck together is now a lot less stressful to me than trying to keep a human being alive. No need to get your panties in a bunch over a presentation on sales numbers guys; we aren’t curing cancer here.
My entire life now requires project management. I’m a project management pro now! A standard night at our house requires laundry, pee cleanup, bath, dinner prep and whole lotta other unforeseen hot mess and unnecessary tantrums. Ever tried to do anything while someone is consistently screaming in the background? If you can master that, you can do anything. Therefore go ahead and hand me 3 projects to manage at once and request they get completed in an impossible amount of time. It’s a breeze! If I can run a household without using Asana I sure as hell can do this.
Negotiating with a preschooler. This morning I had to try to get my child to put her pants on without the use of a candy bribe. It took MAJOR, MAJOR negotiation skills to get that done people. Some say negotiating with someone with no good logic is a waste of time, but those people have never had a toddler. There’s literally no other option 3 million times a day. If I can do that, I’m pretty sure I can get Mark to give me better pricing on the yoga pants I just ordered along with better terms. He’d be afraid not to.
What is my point of even writing this you may ask? It’s to get you to stop feeling like you need to get to a certain point in your career before you take the leap. Don’t be afraid. Motherhood isn’t a hinderance, it can actually unlock traits in you that can be beneficial for your career and life as a whole. It requires enough of us that we can’t tiptoe around certain areas of growth- it forces us to jump in feet first and eyes closed. And because of that experience it has opened my eyes to the fact that we truly aren’t living our best lives because we aren’t taking leaps.
Oh, also you get to go to the bathroom by yourself when you are at work, which is AWESOME.