I have at times felt like Angela Priestley and Esther Walker, who both recently published articles about how motherhood made them feel.
I never had the courage to speak up publicly. We all feel different when our first borns arrive in our lives but it certainly isn’t a holiday. It can be a difficult adjustement to life before. The few times I tried people misunderstood me too. The unspoken rule is that it isn’t okay to talk about it.
During my first maternity leave, I researched the content for www.internationalwim.org and designed the layout for the first website as well as still running Women in Mining UK, but I was on leave from my work as a headhunter covering mining & metals. After 6 months I extended my maternity leave to a year. I never returned to my job. I resigned as I was pregnant again. I became self-employed as it suited my personal situation better and continued managing WIM UK and WIM Community Portal.
I found it difficult to be just a mother so continued to focus on pursuing some professional activities, at times believing I was rubbish at both being a mother and a professional and that maybe I should give up trying to work, but I am stubborn and perseverant and continued as I need the intellectual pursuits to feel whole. Life is a constant struggle for balance and I have slowly learned to accept that and not be so hard on myself.
I recently read Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In and it also talks about myths concerning maternity and motherhood. I recommend the book to everyone.
It is a difficult topic to talk about but others are courageously paving the way. May 2014 be the year to speak up!
Angela Priestley – Misconceptions about motherhood start with the ‘leave’ in ‘maternity leave’
Esther Walker – What no one tells you about motherhood