Updated: Nov 6, 2022
I was scrolling on social media today and I came across multiple videos of moms saying similar things regarding motherhood ..... that when they became mothers, nothing else mattered and that they were finally fulfilled.
Now let me be clear, if that is truly what completes you, I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is this narrative that women are not complete until they become mothers OR that if you are a mother, you should not yearn for anything more.
I grew up in a very "traditional" community where women became mothers. The end. However, I was incredibly blessed to have parents that were supportive of me and never pushed that notion on me. I think now that social media is so widely consumed, it's not our parents or physical community that pressures this narrative of motherhood, it's other moms on social media. It's likely not even the intent of said moms on social media but we still fall prey to our own tendencies of comparison.
but we still fall prey to our own tendencies of comparison
This narrative about motherhood being the end all be all can be very toxic. For example, I knew myself well enough to know that I would pursue a career before and after kids but regardless of that, I find myself wondering if I'm a bad mom because motherhood wasn't enough. Now imagine a young woman, about to become a mom, thinking this would be the thing that finally completed her.... and then her realizing that it wasn't. How harmful for this mom to be consuming content on social media that makes her feel like there's something wrong with her.
Listen, I know that there are also many women out there being very loud about needing a powerful career to be fulfilled. That's why there are moms preaching the opposite, to reach out to tell moms who just want to be moms that it's ok.
I believe a few things to be true:
We are all different and need different things in life to feel fulfilled. You have to do what's best for you and your family.
I am a good mom and I love my kids with my whole heart AND they are the most important thing in my life BUT I still want to pursue my career.
Finding a community (in person and online) that support you is so important.
Scrolling by content that frustrates, demeans you or makes you feel "less then" is vital for your mental health.
I passionately believe that you can present information that is true for you in a way that doesn't make others feel like it has to be true for them. That is what my goal is.... to show up for the working mom community without making any stay at home moms feel like I'm devaluing their jobs (because motherhood is a job).
If you are feeling discouraged today, know that you can set whatever boundaries you need to protect and honour your mental well being. This may include blocking accounts, scrolling past videos or leaving group chats.
I love my kids, I'm a good mom and I'm a proud CFO. Although being a mom is the most important thing in my life, it wasn't enough for me. I also wanted to pursue my career. If that's you, I see you. You are a good mom.