Sharing my motherhood journey and successfully returning to work #makingmotherhoodwork #modernmom #workingmom #worklifebalance
Next week my daughter will turn one, and as I look back in time, my heart is filled with gratitude. The Search Agency truly has been an incredibly supportive and family-friendly employer, which has ensured that I was set for success during my motherhood journey. I still remember my first day back to work from maternity leave after being away for 12 weeks. It was quite daunting. Not only was I leaving my little baby for the first time, but I was leaving her with someone else other than family. I was having little, silent panic attacks, to say the least. But there was one great part about the process of returning to work, and that was the support system I’ve had in my manager and work colleagues.
While talking to my friend who quit her software career after delivering her son, I had the following thoughts: “I’m inspired to share my story. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to motherhood, we all stand to benefit from hearing each other’s experiences.” I thought I had to share how I returned to work from maternity leave not only as a leader, but as a professional. I am the typical Type-A personality with a reputation for being always-on which, although not true, made it hard for me to imagine taking time off. I have always been self-critical and strive towards meeting all deadlines and goals.
Now nine months into work, I realized I do have a great story to tell. But it’s different than the one I initially envisioned. What I’ve come to understand is that my story isn’t about my path back to work after my baby, nor is it about my time leading up to giving birth or my time away, and it’s not even about my return and the challenge of balancing being a professional and a mom. My story is about asking and getting the support you need. I was not only given the go-ahead to completely detach, but strongly encouraged to do so.
When I returned to work, despite being confident in my own abilities, I needed something more. I needed to reconfirm the value of my work, because every minute spent at work was now a minute away from my daughter and that had to be justified. When I thought about self-actualization, I realized that my path, which had always evolved naturally, now needed to be formalized because my future was about more than just about me. When I thought about belonging, I felt valued and included at my organization that I’d been away from for three full months. I received the same recognition and respect upon my return.
So where does that leave things? Well, for starters, I’m more confident and feel more in control than I have ever been before. That’s because through my motherhood journey, I figured out that I can now do anything and I am fearless. I turned my personal situation into an opportunity for professional growth and I now believe it will ultimately propel my career in ways I could not have initially envisioned. But I can’t leave the story there. Because the point of telling this story is bigger than me: it’s about leaving behind a set of lessons to help others as they navigate this life-changing, mind-altering, career-impacting event that we call motherhood.
Find out more about our wonderful company via our Careers page. #thesearchagency #familyfriendly