if you told me 5 years ago that having kids would improve my career, I would not have believed you. in fact, 5 years ago, I was working as hard as I could so that I could give myself “permission” to lean back once I had kids. but the opposite happened when I had my daughter 2.5 years ago – my career kicked into high gear.
prior to having kids, I was humming along, trying out different roles and taking on as many opportunities as I could. I had a lot of free time, could work late, and had a ton of energy. I learned a lot from taking on so many different things – I even started this blog as a way to add on to my skillset and learn more!
once my daughter arrived, I felt torn between a company that I loved and a human that I adored and loved with all my heart. furthermore, I felt helpless and disorganized most of the time, hoping between work meetings and the breast pump, emails and bedtime stories. things got real very quickly and I started to question what my top priorities were, what I really loved doing, and how I could start getting my life in better order. long story short, I needed a new role. and if that new role was within the same company I’d been with for so long, I’d be pumped. I needed something that would speak to my strengths, give me some autonomy, and amplify my purpose(s).
lucky for me, my company allowed me to write up a dream role. I ended up with a job that created value for the company, focused in on what my purposes are, and gave me a larger sense of independence. it was a new role within the company so I had the chance to create what I wanted. all of a sudden, I was propelling through work with more passion than I had had in years. at first, I was taken aback. but then I realized that I really enjoyed what I was doing and and having that made the work easier to do.
inserting more passion into my work had a strange effect on how well I performed and how my work was received – all of a sudden, I was met with more enthusiasm and encouragement than I’d seen in a long time and my colleagues rallied around me. opportunities seemed and still seem endless, and I choose how to challenge myself in a way that is good for the company and good for me. the “team” of 1 has grown since I started, but it still has the same scrappiness and passion.
finding work that spoke to me also makes me a better mom. I come home with energy and excitement, as well as the ability to fully unplug from work and give my daughter my undisclosed attention. I have the flexibility to take her to doctor appointments, or bring her into the office if there’s a meeting I can’t miss and her daycare is closing.
it turns out, having kids can make you more focused, more honest, and less willing to put up with things that aren’t 100 percent you. as much as people say that having kids can damage your career, I say it has the potential to improve it, possibly more than you ever dreamed possible.