Next up in our "Why I Love Being an Early Mama" series:
If you're stressing about professional goals, worried about important hobbies, convinced that you'll never be able to achieve the achievements you set out to achieve, here's something to think about. This reason initially surfaced after reading all of your comments and emails, but the final shove was from this Momversation video called "How Has Motherhood Changed You?" (that Wordpress won't let me embed for some reason).
In the video, Stacee Bucciarelli of Medieval Mom said that when it comes to her personal goals, she once had a successful career in television -- even going back to school for Medieval Literature. Yet when she held that tiny baby "everything went out the window. Ph.D? Poof! TV Career? Poof! Everything was gone. I just wanted to be a mom," she said.
And then Liza Sinclaire from Blahhgy.com weighed in, saying that even though she totally hates to be this type of a mom, she feels like she "has a purpose" now. She spent 10 years pursuing an acting career, but she never felt like she had a purpose before becoming a mom.
The moms went on to agree that motherhood gives you "a whole new perspective," and how "things you thought were important before are no longer important; and the things you thought weren't important, suddenly become the most important things in the world."
And all of this, as you fellow moms know, is true. But this is coming from older moms who established careers, lives, before becoming moms. Of course I won't put words into their mouths and say that they regret building their careers for so long. I'm sure they became mothers exactly when they were meant to and wouldn't change a thing. But some women have a baby and suddenly feel the need to change the world -- not only for their own kids but for everyone else's children. Some women have an urge to do something more, something else. Some women have an unexpected surge of creativity and ditch their 9-to-5 gigs for something more fulfilling, more meaningful. And some women are compelled to do nothing other than be the best moms they can possibly be.
Many women feel changed.
Beyond that, so many inventions, books and works of art were sparked by parenting. So much success is directly linked to motherhood. The Wizard of Oz was created from bedtime stories. Heather Armstrong, probably the most famous mom blogger in existence, now makes between $30,000 and $50,000 a month writing about being a mom, and is Forbes' 26th most influential woman in media. Many of our favorite Etsy shops exist only because motherhood gave them the creative drive to make it happen. Some are older, some are younger, but they all found themselves on drastically different paths than they planned.
Does that make pre-baby goals unimportant? Of course not. And I don't think we're ever too old to readjust our dreams. We're constantly evolving and changing, beyond motherhood. But when motherhood often makes our pre-baby preoccupations seem trivial, or encourages new discoveries and ideas, we have the advantage of making those realizations early.
Motherhood refocuses, redefines, what we think and feel -- and often times what we do. So while our society tends to think motherhood is the end of our individuality, it's actually the beginning of who we'll become. I, for one, am happy to have taken the faster route to that person. And in that respect, we're the lucky ones.
Note: The first picture (the goals clipboard) was created by Maiko Kuzunishi, a mom behind the popular Etsy shop Decoy Lab. Maiko credits motherhood for giving her the fearlessness and drive to start her successful shop.