I never thought being a career mom would be so difficult. I was always the ambitious kid in my family, so naturally I figured I would be able to go back to work and everything would be smooth sailing.
My name is Jessica. I am the Founder of Caffeinated Career Mom. I started this blog after experiencing many issues that plague me daily as a career mom. I know now I am not alone, and I want other career moms (parents) to know that, too.
I also want to help other career moms experience professional fulfillment that gives them that something not so easily found after starting a family – a sense of “your own thing” – success built on a sense of accomplishment not linked to bottles, diapers, baby food, and trips to daycare.
You are still YOU – just a more prismatic, multi-tasking, slightly crazier version. 🙂
My friends that don’t have kids have a hard time understanding why I am not seemingly more grateful most days. I “have it all” so why do I not feel blessed? That’s just it, I do….but I also feel an intense sense of overwhelming fear and anxiety. It is absolutely terrifying to embark on the most rewarding and equally challenging job I’ve ever had, in addition to working full time.
I wonder how I make it to work without looking like a hot mess, but somehow I manage it and you can, too. It takes work and some creative planning, but it is possible.
If you are at a crossroads and feel the need to make a professional change for the benefit of your family (and/or sanity), I am giving you permission to do something pivotal. Be your own best friend and understand that doing something healthy for yourself is doing something good for your family, too.
If mama is not happy, the well-being of everyone around mama weakens. Think about this for a second. If you are on an airplane and it is about to crash – who gets the oxygen mask first? YOU. If you cannot breathe, you cannot be of assistance to anyone else.
Give yourself permission.
Give yourself oxygen.
Don’t wait until you are so run down that you are bursting into overwhelmed tears while rocking your baby to sleep late at night (been there). If you are anything like me, you are most likely hard on yourself and don’t see why you can’t just make it work. There is no such thing. Being a career mom is all about understanding that your old life is gone. This new life – for you and the beautiful tiny one you have created – is a completely new chapter with no manual and a TON of learning curves.
Be nice to yourself, forgive your mistakes – and if your situation dictates that you must work, then allow yourself to go through the grieving process of adjusting to that reality. For me, facing the end of maternity leave was the equivalent of a nervous breakdown. The idea of leaving my baby with daycare workers all day brought on crying spells. It took some time for me to realize I needed help to get through such a difficult experience.
I went to a therapist and was surprised by how helpful it was. Having someone help me identify and navigate what I was feeling truly saved me from feeling like a failure as a mother.
Before I got married and had my baby boy, I was all about my career. I surprised myself when it was time to return to work postpartum. Suddenly, I had trouble identifying with the career side of my life. I loved my work, I loved my colleagues and company – and still do. Navigating that transition was something I wished I had more guidance with as I got back into the swing of things.
If this sounds like you, or if you are in a similar situation and feel the need to make a change – I take pride in helping career-minded mothers identify professional goals and create solutions to achieve them. In some cases, that means moving to a different department, reworking current job responsibilities or exploring a new opportunity elsewhere.
You are still you. Being a career mom is not for the faint of heart. It takes grit far beyond any job and you have what it takes.
Hugs to you, mama.