Welcome back! In part 1 of my post on the top 4 misconceptions about millennial motherhood I addressed romance and travel after having kids. In part 2 I’m sharing my thoughts on taking care of yourself and climbing the career ladder. I want to continue to give future and current millennial moms a little encouragement. But if you’ve been through these things and have a different take I’d love to know your thoughts too! If you missed misconception 1 and 2 be sure to check out part 1.
Misconception # 3: You’ll stop taking care of yourself– I’ll admit this one is tough. It’s easy to neglect your own maintenance and self-care when you have another human to look after. There have been plenty of days that I didn’t feel like changing out of my sweats because I knew it was likely that spit up/food/some miscellaneous substance would end up on me. And days that I didn’t relish my normal beauty routine or opted for something quick and unhealthy instead of focusing on eating well. But when you take the time to take care of yourself you tend to feel better. I definitely need a pick me up sometimes and putting on a cute outfit and doing my hair and makeup is a relatively simple way to get a small boost. I feel more capable when I put that effort in. You definitely don’t have to be a celebrity to do this. I have a couple of very glam mom friends who inspire me whenever I see them (my own mother and grandmother are very glam as well and quick to call me out if they think I need to take care of myself better). Taking care of yourself well after kids isn’t always easy but it’s possible and sometimes it’s necessary.
Misconception #4: You’ll lose your ambition/ability to climb the career ladder– Balancing your career with being a mother can be really tough, especially in the early stages. But thankfully there are a lot of companies that support family life. I work at a company that allows me to work from home a couple of days a week, supports breastfeeding mothers, and didn’t treat me any differently when I announced my pregnancy (I still got a raise after my annual review, and the assignments kept coming in). I know that’s not the case for everyone though and if you work at a place that you feel really doesn’t support you as a mother, then it may be best to move on if you can. And yes you can look for a new job while pregnant! I did with my first, and when I got an interview with my current company during my first trimester I was so nervous about when I should tell them and how they would react. It’s pretty sad that pregnant women even have to worry about employers’ reactions. I ended up waiting until I got my offer (and before I accepted) to let them know and when I did everyone was very sweet and supportive about it. The right company will understand that you have a right to start a family if and when you choose.
In the DMV area in particular there are a few large companies that offer benefits like paid maternity leave and backup childcare. And government positions often come with a lot of scheduling flexibility. I also consider myself lucky to work with other women who embraced motherhood and still continued to climb the career ladder. And there are more opportunities than ever to do something entrepreneurial from home. The bottom line is it’s not easy but giving life definitely doesn’t have to stop your career growth if you’re working. There’s also nothing wrong with having children and deciding to stay home with them if you can, you never know how you’ll feel until the option is presented to you, we all have different paths.
Those are my thoughts on some of the top misconceptions about millennial motherhood, If you have questions or comments about anything, including job hunting or work-life balance as a mom I’d love to chat.
As always wishing you lots of self-care,