Mum. Team mate. Legend! That’s how I see my role now, but it hasn’t always been that way.
When I first returned to work as a mum, I felt like I was in a category of my own. I felt like a workplace alien. I was 28 years old with six kids at home—not your typical working mum profile—and I found it challenging to find my place. Where did I fit among the childfree twenty somethings and executive working parents?
More often than not I would question whether or not I was part of the crew. I felt left out when it came to work drinks or events which happened anytime past 5PM. In the evenings I would most likely be knee-deep in nappies, pasta and bath time (not necessarily in that order), while everyone else was talking business over mojitos or cosmos, or rum and raspberries—whatever the youngsters drank these days!
And the seeds of doubt as to my capabilities were growing. My mum anxiety was peaking. Could I have a career and be a mum at the same time?
Feeling so segregated, I began forcing myself even further into corners. Making fake phone calls and having cups of tea on my own to avoid the workplace chatter. Yes, you read that right, I drink tea now. Those who knew me before kids would remember me as the loud coffee girl. In fact, I was the loudest coffee girl!
But those days were long gone, and I felt like I was playing my mum card left, right and centre. Using it to isolate myself even further, to the point I felt that I had no right to be in the workplace and was no longer worthy of my job.
At breaking point, I took the time to review and regroup. I knew motherhood had caused some totally messed up changes. It had destroyed my pelvic floor and my ability to watch any movie without crying (seriously, I needed to take some leave after watching Coco!). But was motherhood going to utterly destroy my career too?
And then it sprung on me the way your child does when you sit down with a hot cup of tea.
Wait a minute! Of course motherhood has changed me. It’s changed how I work, relate to others and see my career unfolding—but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing…not if I have anything to do with it!
In that eureka moment, I realised that the only person judging me and my ability was me. But no more.
And, just like that, I changed my perspective. I decided that I had a superpower: I was a mum and I worked full-time. I could multi-task like never before, focus on my work on only two hours’ sleep and relate to a wider demographic. I had more empathy. I was bloody magical!
Becoming a mum has changed me. But the changes that occurred are not my weakness. They are my strength. I am a mum and I am a bloody good worker! A better worker than before. I am proud of how much I can achieve in a week. I am a worthy part of the team.
Krechelle’s top tips:
- Wear your mum badge with pride. You are a multi-tasking machine!
- You have no weakness. Juggling parenthood and work is your superpower. You’re a business woman and a kick-arse mum!
- As soon as you embrace the new you, you too can be a mum, a team mate and a legend!
Written by Krechelle Carter. Mum of six children, six and under; freelance writer for publications such as Kidspot and Woman’s Day; blogger; and creator of the Eight at Home community. Strong believer in following your dreams and balancing it all…most of the time! Find her at eightathome.com.au, on Instagram and Facebook.