This week I read two great blog posts discussing the importance for moms to find fulfillment and pursue dreams in two very different – and yet – related ways.
Over at the State of Discontent, Jaelithe discusses how hard it can be for working mothers to leave their children in the care of someone else. She offers reassurance that although your child/children may cry as you leave, they will be just fine. Most likely, they will be happily playing soon after that tearful, heart-wrenching goodbye. And while these instances may weigh heavily on working moms, the importance of pursuing a career is something they need to do and that if not right away, their children will understand in time. As Jaelithe writes:
But they love you, the whole of you, more than anything, and even at an early age, they understand that your career — your drive to create things of value with your skills and your mind, not just at home, but out in the wider world — is part of who you are.
I left a comment on Jaelithe’s post that I’ll paraphrase here. Being a good mom isn’t about staying at home versus going back to work. It’s being happy that makes you a good mom. This applies to stay at home moms and to working moms. It’s about ensuring that you pursue personal fulfillment – whatever that means to you. In doing so, you become a great role model for your children.
In Amy Boughner’s post at www.amyboughner.ca, Amy announced she is trying out for the local roller derby team. Her reason? Because she’s never done anything like this before, and is in fact, absolutely terrified to do it. Yet she wants to show her daughter that fear should not stop you from pursuing a goal. In Amy’s words:
I am trying something that truly terrifies me in the interest of a potentially awesome outcome…I’m going to risk getting hurt in the interest of showing my daughter that being scared of getting hurt shouldn’t never prevent you from doing anything you want to do.
Word to your mother on that! (sorry…couldn’t resist).
As women we tend to put the needs of other people ahead of our own. This is somewhat a natural part of our nurturing capacity but it isn’t healthy to do so at the detriment of our own happiness. I’m currently on maternity leave and loving every minute I get to spend with my now seven-month-old daughter. But I have made it a priority to keep up with the activities I participated in before she was born. An example of this is my involvement with Girl Geek Dinners Ottawa. I love that I can give back to the Ottawa community by supporting networking and learning opportunities for women in our city.
And while my daughter makes me happy (unbelievably so), GGDOttawa gives me a sense of purpose outside of motherhood. And when my daughter is old enough to understand, I hope it’s something she will admire.