Ambition, relationships, fitness and other topics of conversation shouldn’t stop being important when women have babies.
Before you even begin reading further along in this article I should highlight that I have a career as a Recruitment Consultant and Writer and I am 25 with a boyfriend and no kids. I also have no plans to have kids till I am at least 30 and that’s only if there is a rock on my hand and a wedding album on the coffee table if you know what I mean.
However coming from suburban Western Sydney and now living on the South Coast of NSW I am surrounded by a society where marrying young and/or popping out babies is the normal thing to do. In fact sometimes this mothering majority can inadvertently make you feel weird/odd one out/rejected if you don’t have a ring on that left hand and a baby in a stroller or in fact don’t want those things and this is bad for the self esteem business! Having a baby seems to be the alternative to figuring out a career that you probably haven’t had time to become qualified for anyway.
The scary part is that for most – not all – these woman it seems that babies become the be all and end all in their life. Like the string tying them to the earth…their EVERYthing. While I can understand how having a baby is a moving experience and will change how you see things in the world and it’s something that to quote friends it “indescribable experience” and a “different kind of love” I 100% believe that it is dangerous to think that anything/anyone in this world should be your everything.
I can liken it to having a serious boyfriend in high school. When you’re a teenager it is very easy to obsess over a serious relationship and truly believe your life would be over if you ever lost this true love of your 16 year old life! But it isn’t true…you don’t die because they do, or simply because they broke up with you. You pick up shattered pieces and after a lot of moping and some bad decisions you finally open your heart to someone else again.
No-one can possibly be everything to you – and this includes best friends, your mother, your husband and yes – your baby. You were a person before you got pregnant; you were a person while pregnant and although habits are forced to change you are still your own person after you give birth. You are a separate person to your baby who cannot possibly ever be everything to you. One day they will grow up and become teenagers that get defensive when you are too involved or let loose if you don’t set boundaries because “mum, that’s so unfair”. While it would be great to assume that our kids will grow up and believe we are their best friends and they tell us everything – it doesn’t always happen and if it does that still doesn’t mean they are our everything.
One person in this world cannot possibly give you everything you need and it scares me when I hear mothers saying that their children are “their world”. Just like when you get into a love-of-your-life-relationship it is still super important to keep up individual hobbies, have time with your girlfriends and keep up fitness and health levels. I cannot stress enough that the same needs to go for when women have children.
You are still important…and if you don’t put yourself first you won’t end up been much use to anyone.
Make sure you give yourself time to build up your hobbies, return to a fulfilling career, keep up your health and fitness and give your husband/boyfriend/partner/babies daddy and your girlfriends outside of your kids. It will make you a better and more fulfilled person for it.
Recently having looked through the Forbes 100 most powerful women list for 2012 it is extremely apparent that the majority of these women have risen to their level of power in a variety of industries even while having kids. If these CEO’s, COO’s, Political powerhouses, and journalism leaders can bring up children while building careers their kids will one day be proud of them for than why is it so hard for anyone else?
I have seen plenty of examples of women get to their highest level of fitness after having children and even with more than three children to take care of.
While being a mother seems to be a great choice in life it is certainly not the only choice given to women and it is also not healthy for it to be the only ‘everything’ in your world.