Have you ever just felt like you start to wonder what you're doing and why and if it's even the right path you're taking? Then, have you had a moment that confirms everything you're doing is aligned with your purpose? I had that today. I drove to work hoping that this business will help someone, even 1 working mom, come out on top or feel that this path is possible.
I had a conversation with a woman expecting her first child-about 5 months along. We talked about everything from being blessed with a healthy pregnancy to a good support system and how necessary it is to keep your sanity. Between answering questions from clients and providing resources in the sun, we stumbled upon the concept of keeping her job during this time. She expressed to me that she will most likely not return to work once the baby is born. I didn't elude to her about this business and our advocacy work for working mothers, but just let her speak. I asked her what her reasons were and she said "It doesn't feel possible to do this job pregnant and with a small child". It doesn't feel possible. I doesn't feel possible.
I asked her two questions after she said that. The first question was, "Do you love what you do?" and the second was "Have you asked your employer about what your options would be upon return to full time employment?". The answers that followed were not surprising. She doesn't love what she does nor has she asked her employer about her options upon return from leave. I drove home thinking about those words and how we can change this verbiage or what employers can do to retain their employees to make it feel possible. I also realized while we are encouraging employers to revisit their policies in place to include a healthy environment for a working mother, we, us women are not speaking up.
In order to get something, our children ask us multiple, multiple, times! I mean I know you're nodding over there. They're relentless because that one thing that they want they have tunnel vision because they want it so bad. Where is our relentless request for better transitions into working motherhood? Where is our tenacity for asking for what we want? I think sometimes we're afraid to hear the words "no" or even the slightest form of judgement. I know I would feel slightly intimidated for asking to leave early to pick up my son. But WHY are we letting the needs of our family take a back seat to please a company? Yes job security is one thing, but are we bowing out of a fight?
I want to ask...what are you fighting for? A work from home day? Earlier hours? A split shift? What does YOUR motherhood and family need to function at it's highest capacity?
What do YOU need to be the best mother, employee, and more importantly your best self?
Find your voice.