“I believe the choice to become a mother is the choice to become one of the greatest spiritual teachers there is.” —Oprah Winfrey
The moment I found out I was expecting my second child, my life changed. From my first experience (16 years ago); I knew nothing was going to be the same ever again.
So with the run up to the ‘big day’, I’ve been thinking about motherhood and to sum it up I came to the conclusion that it is a sacrifice.
That sounds negative doesn’t it?
But it isn’t… what is the definition of sacrifice? It is when you give up a valuable thing to something much more worthy or important.
motherhood versus career…
It’s the dual dilemma that sets the period for the typical battle so many women in this century have compensated, mainly against themselves. While most people no longer have issues with women who pursuit a career, a career doesn’t release women of what many still perceive as women’s “duties” to take care of their home and bring up children. Let’s face it – most millennial women believe that having a child will interrupt their career progression. For those executives who have children, their maternity leave is filled with thoughts of “who will take care of my baby” and “why don’t I just quit my job?” Tough decisions come with motherhood!
There are so many things wrong with these perceptions that it’s hard to know where to begin.
Most importantly, being a mother is a choice…
The truth is that the minute a woman gets pregnant she gives up her body, her sleep, her time, her peace of mind and in some cases, namely mine… her sanity(!)
For many women, becoming a mother is one of life’s goals. Since childhood Practicing on dolls, and even family pets. We all know that some women are not prepared for motherhood – this could be due to natural or social reasons – while others simply decide that being a mother is not for them. Some women finish their education first then start having a family, and some (you would think) figured it all out because they take the time off work to have children and walk right back in to their careers. But even that she will be putting her children in a day-care or will be accepting part time job to spend more time with her child.
Yes, some might argue the fact that women have moved forward from the days when a woman’s place was in the kitchen, and can never be ‘equal‘ to a man in terms of her career if she chooses to have children. For example, the mother is the one who takes ‘maternity leave’, ‘sick days’ when the children are ill, must start work later or leave earlier because she needs to drop off or pick up her children from day-care and still be awake late at night to cook for the next day meal. Therefore, how can a mother grow in her career and manage both equally!
My answer to that is; Yes, I agree to all the above, but also I believe if a woman chooses to be a mother, she should appreciate each and every step of this journey just as enjoying each phase in her life (learning to drive, studying, getting fit, climbing the ladder of her career…etc) which required lots of pain, devoting long hours and stress. Hence, women should not feel guilty or bad when missing few years of their career lives as they are working towards a greater purpose in life – raising a great leader and a human-being to be an affective person in his/her community.
The emotion that devastates many moms is guilt. But if you concentrate on what you value and make choices about how you want to live those values, you can let go of guilt. I don’t feel guilty when I leave work at 5pm because I don’t value working all hours of the day and night. I value doing work that matters and I measure myself accordingly. I don’t feel guilty I don’t spend every possible minute with my kids because I know that my goal of raising kids who are happy, and smart doesn’t rest on the quantity of time I spend with them.
In summary, motherhood is a choice and when you choose to be a mother you should live in the moment. Don’t be in such a hurry to jump to the next level , treasure every moment in your child’s stage cause it won’t come back again. Accomplishments are important. Progress is vital. I know that when I take the time to cherish the “doing” in my life, I feel more joy. And it’s an ongoing part of my personal progression to learn to enjoy the processes involved in progression more and more.
So, yes, it is possible to have a great career and a great family and not feel guilty. I do and I promise you can too.