One of the greatest challenges of motherhood is finding the you in the mom. Every mother I’ve ever known has gone through a period of intense adjustment during pregnancy, when her baby is a newborn, and then again, often when her child is about three years old. Finding out how to be both a mom and yourself is a battle in which society does not support us as women. It becomes incredibly important that we support each other.
I thought about this while reading Shira Nelson’s article on Mom Beyond Baby. Shira is a fitness professional and business coach; she helps other moms discover their OWN passion and purpose in life and teaches them how to create a business based around their passions.
There are a lot of paths to personhood after you’ve had a baby. Some mothers find a great deal of satisfaction in building their own business as Shira hasâ€“and, honestly, as I have! VixieFit is my passion, and working with mothers and women who are searching for their strength (on all levels) is my life’s calling. But while I loved Shira’s article, it reminded me that there are so many different ways to be a mother, a woman who has a child.
There are benefits to being a â€œmompreneurâ€ as Shira calls it, but there are drawbacks. While my nine-to-five counterparts are coming home and cooking dinner, sometimes I’m still working on the many facets of my business that need tending to like creating blog content or online products, updating social media accounts, planning local workshops and presentations, writing workout programs for online and in-person clients, etc. because I didn’t really have a chance to do it earlier in the day. Lots of businesses can operate while the kids are at school, or in the time between playdates and part time daycare. Not every passion, however, can fit into those hours.
One of the things I like to bring home to women that I work with is the idea that there’s no one true path towards success. Just like everybody is different, so is every mom. What sounds like the most perfect passion project of my life might sound completely and totally boring to youâ€“and that’s fine!
I encourage every mother not to try and fit their life into someone else’s path, but instead, to look at their own dreams and passions, and to follow them as far as possible and in whatever capacity fits for them.
Maybe that dream involves being the parent who stays at home, who makes cookies with three different colors of icing, and gets thousands of followers on Pinterest. Maybe that dream means pursuing a career in a field that you have a degree inâ€“or going back to school and getting a degree in a new field that you never knew you loved before you held your child in your arms. Maybe that dream means that you work a job not for the personal satisfaction, but for the interpersonal interaction and the money, and the ability to coach your child’s T-ball team on the weekends.
Whatever that dream might be, I encourage you to pursue it. Don’t let life pass you by, and use the excuse of “I have a family now, so I could never do that”. There is always a way, and it may not happen overnight, but that’s okay! I feel like I am just now starting to hit a groove in my pursuit to be a “mompreneur” and building a business that focuses on coaching other mamas to be and feel their best! I can’t help but think what a great example I am setting for my own three children of having a dream and going after it!
If you’re not sure what your dream might be yet, I suggest that you start by carving out some time for yourself, to see what motivates you now. I’ve witnessed many women finding a new side of themselves in the gym, working their bodies into a hardcore sweat, pushing themselves to the edges of their ability to find out what happens when they let go of can’t and embrace what if. The things that motivated me before my children were born are nothing like the things that drive me now. Kids have a shocking way of rearranging your priorities, and not always in the way you expect. It’s worth investigating the passions that drove you before, to see if they continue to motivate you, but it’s also worth trying out many new things, to see if there’s something exciting and new that makes your heart sing.