Myth: You made your choice now you have to stick with it.
New Rule: Stay open to the possibilities.
I met a new mom who gave up her work as a scientist when she had her first baby because her husband was a doctor and would never pitch in at home. It’s true that he had to work long and erratic hours and that he warned her about it all before they got pregnant. For a long time, she would just repeat the same refrain about her husband never helping and her being stuck at home all day with the kids. If there were any options for her to explore, she would never think of them because she was completely resigned to her situation. She felt stuck, and so she was stuck. Tension between the couple escalated, and they separated for a time. The dynamic between the couple changed during the difficult separation when the husband was forced to handle many of the parenting duties himself during his visits and she was not there to jump in.
Believing that you are trapped in your current work/life situation may feel true but it is not very helpful to think that way. If you find yourself in a situation you wish you could change, then at least allow yourself to think about how things would be in your ideal world. I encourage you to let yourself want what you want. Pretend that you are not stuck for awhile. Disable your default settings while you explore options and imagine a life of your choosing. As you explore these thoughts, try and keep it to yourself for a while. Just ponder and wonder. Many ideas and strokes of genius are born of just being open to the possibilities.
A remarkable and true example about the power of staying open to the possibilities is Julie Clark, the inventor of Baby Einstein. Julie was a first grade teacher who decided to stay home after her first child was born. Deep down Julie missed teaching other children about music, poetry and art. As a creative outlet, she shot a video featuring some of the musical concepts she used in her teaching career for her baby. Then, over the next eighteen months she edited the video, working on it only when it was convenient. Later she showed it to others and suddenly the requests started coming in from moms who wanted her video for their babies. That video grew to become the famed Baby Einstein Company. This mom left a teaching job that paid $22,000 a year, founded a company, and five years later, the Baby Einstein brand was valued at $22 million. So that’s pretty good on the possibilities side.
Maybe you don’t want to be a CEO of a multi-million dollar brand but you have a cupcake design idea or want to start a non-profit for people who are in transition. Maybe you just wish you did not have to clean your own home or that you could take a family vacation. Allow yourself to admit what you want to be different in your home/career and be willing to quietly explore that.
This blog post is an excerpt from the book: What’s Your Lane: Career clarity for moms who want to work a little, a lot…or not at all.
About the Author
Brenda Abdilla is a certified career coach, author, leadership expert, and the founder of Management Momentum LLC. For over 13 years, Brenda traveled the world as a professional speaker, business consultant and executive recruiter, working with thousands top level professionals in the areas of sales, management and leadership. Since 2004, Management Momentum clients have had access to a battery of proven tools, resources and assessments that help them reach their desired outcomes sooner rather than later. After working with Brenda, clients feel engaged, challenged, energized, fulfilled and certain about their career direction. Brenda helps clients navigate career-changes and job promotions, increase productivity, improve leadership skills and remove obstacles in the way of moving forward. Brenda’s new book, What’s Your Lane? Career clarity for moms who want to work a little, a lot or not at all is now available for moms in career-question mode. You can sign up for her Momma Minute newsletter at www.Whatsyourlane.com to get savvy tips for today’s mom.