I recently had dinner with some lovely ladies I had the pleasure to meet for the first time last week.
I run small events for a group of women, mostly expats, living close to where I live, and every now and then I organise a coffee morning or a dinner so to get in touch with new and old members (old…we are all in our twenties, of course).
It is delightful to connect with other people and, most of all, to listen to the fascinating stories about:
•countries I didn’t know how to pronounce in English or that I had no clear idea to locate on a map;
•culture adjustments that took forever to be tweaked;
•children surprising their parents for their flexibility and social ability when changing environments (kids are generally the best when moving and the most unexpected source of bewilderment).
I do take pleasure in listening to all adventures and anecdotes these ladies so lovingly agree to share: sometimes I can even see myself back then when I first moved to Zürich with a four months little boy and a husband at work all day.
I remember feeling the pressure of being able to get the grip of being a mother, a wife, arrange new furniture in a new apartment, find doctors, supermarkets and learn new streets, language, culture.
Most of all, find new friends to hang out with because when you are a newly mom and you are alone all day…well, it can be seriously tricky, at the very least (moms, you know what I mean! 🙂
So, in the vortex of emotions and difficulties you are facing, you (have to) forget a little bit about yourself and you kinda let go your life as you knew it before.
The process of re-adjustment and re-settling into a normal life can, depending on situations, take a time that can span from about one to ten years. Sometimes even more.
While you’re fighting a way back to your life and career, there will always be an uncomfortable question popping out during a playdate, a coffee morning, a dinner: do you work? Or, what do you do for a living?
Did it happen to you too, eh? I know.
Why is it uncomfortable?
I believe because, basically, being a busy mom and having a career in an office, are largely seen as the two opposite ends of the commitment sphere. It is a society trap.
You must also know there is nothing wrong with taking care of your kids if you want to and if you work well – and this applies to both scenarios., sahms or not.
The question that you should really ask yourself is:
Who are you?
Not how much you gain, what’s your position at work, what do you do for a living.
The question begs for a personal reality check: what do you value? what are your interests? your passions? what do you love?
Are you happy?
Once you begin looking into your world as you’d like it, you will be able to delineate the meaning of accomplishment and, therefore, happiness.
Self-examination processes are a game changer: over time, you will be all set to carve your own path and not the one society has molded around you.
You will start living your life, under your conditions.
There will be no more uncomfortable questions or awkward situations: you will know who you are, what you have decided for you and why and what your path will be.
It takes time, it took me years. I don’t think there is a short way to answer certain questions but certainly, you don’t want to waste more of your time doing something you’ll despise and, eventually, regret.
I have a last, little suggestion to all the new moms out there, struggling with the crisis of your first years of motherhood.
∽ You are ENOUGH. Your story counts.∽
There will be room for growth: just now, you will find lots to learn from others, people to connect with and stories to inspire you. You will discover your unique way through the messy first times of motherhood, whether it’d be starting a journal, being a full-time mom or going to work at six am and come back in time for the pick-up.
Just know who you are and begin to LOVE YOUR LIFE.
ps. the kiddo in you will help you somewhat*