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Three things I'm letting go of as a working mama

I gave birth to a healthy boy, Lewis, on April Fool’s Day in 2019 (Cue my first experience not being in control as a new mom; he came three weeks early and my water broke at Target!). The amount of things I’ve learned since then, and my shift in perspective, has been unreal. I thought I’d spend maternity leave becoming a master gardener, but quickly came to the realization that my only job during Lewis’s first few months of life was to feed him and take care of myself.

Now that I’m transitioning back into work, I’m learning what it “really” feels like to be a working mama (bless us all; stay at home moms, too!). Motherhood has been my hardest, yet most rewarding and blissful experience yet. And while I’ve added a lot of cool tricks to my arsenal--the list of things I can now do one-handed keeps growing--I’ve decided to let go of a few things as well.

Three things I’m letting go of as a working mama:

  1. Expectations I’m not referring to expectations other people have of me. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pretty hard on myself; I’ve had to let go of expectations I put on myself, Lewis, colleagues, etc. A book that was gifted to me by one of my mentors, Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much (Anne Wilson Schaef, 2004) says it best: “Expectations also keep us in illusion. We set up our expectations for someone, we project them onto the other person, and then we start reacting to our expectations as if they were real. Expectations and the illusion of control are intimately linked. When we are tied to our expectations, we usually miss what’s happening… life, that is.”

  2. Work-life balance I despise this term because work-life balance is impossible to achieve. Instead, let’s think of it as work-life integration, where we can be much more flexible about how, where and when we work. Sometimes work is a priority, and other times life is. We go through many seasons in life and there’s one thing I’ve learned for sure as a new mom: each season is fleeting.

  3. Societal standards Eight years ago, I was the girl who wanted the “manager” title and a corner office because I assumed this was my next logical step, and what everyone expected of me (I actually got exactly that, and quickly realized it wasn’t for me). After multiple career moves, soul searching, and a trip back to college, I have a job I love that’s right for me and my family at this season of my life. Although it doesn’t come with swanky happy hours, work perks (aka beer on tap), or meetings with bloggers, doing what’s right for me has made me happier than I ever could have imagined.

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