“How do you balance a career that you love and a family that you love?”
When I found out I was pregnant, I was excited, elated & somewhat petrified of what was to come. I’ve never been an overly maternal person, and I loved work. So much so, I had my identity intertwined with it, and I was worried about how I was going to balance a career that I loved and a family that I loved.
So I did what I always do. To find things out, I created a lil creative side-project #100mumsproject and began by asking questions. A few questions to a lot of mums, working mums, new mums, mature mums, experienced mums, single mums, step mums… all awesome mums! And after interviewing over 100 mums, I’ve learnt an incredible amount, heard so many wonderful stories, gathered a few insights and realised a number of things…
Here’s the top 10:
- It’s not easy… actually, let’s be honest, it’s f*cking hard.
- Every mum is dealing with different challenges, regardless of their current situation, what generation they’re from and/or societal pressures they face.
- Every mum is doing the best they possibly believe they can for their baby/children.
- Many mums deal with guilt, the guilt of being at work v/s being at home, the guilt of not doing enough and/or being enough.
- Pre/Post-Natal depression & miscarriages are much more common than people think. And mums should feel more comfortable talking about.
- For some mums, culture, family/whānau & wider community play a big part in their support network. (After all, they say it takes a village to raise a kid.)
- For a few mums, going back to work isn’t a choice but a necessity, especially with the cost of living increasing significantly in certain cities.
- For more mature mums, it was almost expected that you stayed at home as society deemed it to be a valid full-time job. Times have changed… and for new mums, they’re often not satisfied by solely being a homemaker, but also determined to succeed at what they choose to do professionally.
- Discussing parenting styles & approaches is almost as bad as discussing politics and/or religion.
- Regardless of how it appears on the surface, no one really has this whole work/life balance perfected. And just when you think you’ve nailed it… it constantly changes, and mums are constantly trying to figure it out.
And to that note, after interviewing all these awesome mums… I’m personally still trying to figure it all out too. Something tells me, it’s going to be a lifelong journey.
A huge THANK YOU to all the mums who contributed their time, energy and shared their experience with me. I’m forever grateful to you all for keeping me sane (& bebe.taylor entertained) during my Pregnancy/Maternity Leave. And as I often emerged out of the newborn fog/phase/haze, these interviews were the highlight of my day!
Unfortunately, I was inundated with awesome mums to interview in the end and didn’t get a chance to feature them all. However, I have a little feeling that this project could potentially extend beyond the initial 100 Days Project.
Admittedly, there’s still a lot of interview notes, scribbles and voice recordings that need to be transcribed. And I’ve been asked whether I would turn it all into a book, a podcast series or something else… The opportunities are endless, but in all honesty, right now I’m just taking a bit of a breather, a moment to stop, to reflect and to celebrate on all the awesome mums out there!
However, if you would like to contribute to the evolution of this #100mumsproject, I would love for you to share your experience with me… or to just keep updated, feel free to follow/connect with me below:
🔴 Tumblr: https://100mumsproject.tumblr.com/
🔴 Instagram: https://instagram.com/100mumsproject/
🔴 Twitter: https://twitter.com/100mumsproject
🔴 Website: http://bit.ly/100mumsproject
🔴 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
So, whether you’re a mum or a dad, I’m curious… How do you balance a career you love and a family you love? Please feel free to share your experience below.
P.s I also want to acknowledge and thank my super supportive husband Adam Taylor who woke up extra early every day (5:30am) to entertain our lil bebe.taylor, so that I could have 30mins of uninterrupted creative time first-thing in the morning — before my day was all consumed by the lil one.
P.p.s And yes, I’ve also been asked about #100DadsProject… Hmmm maybe he could do it when he’s on paternity leave ;)
#100mums #100daysproject #100daysnz #reflections #realisations