I just came across this post I wrote over 6 months ago as I was in the midst of another career shift in trying to secure a new job, which I have now happily been in for 3 months. I re-read it and realized how relevant it still is today for me and for many of my friends right now in this season of our lives. Since I haven’t been to my blog in a while, I figured this was a better time than none. Enjoy and let me know if you experience some of these same sentiments?
Has motherhood sparked a journey for you to constantly seek the next big life change? We all know that the one and only constant in life is change. So why is it that after one of the biggest life altering events, having a child, new moms still seek out other drastic life decisions and changes soon thereafter?
This concept of making big life changing decisions isn’t a first for me though. My husband and I got married in 2008 and we took on two of the most stressful life events in one month, a wedding and buying a house. Apparently planning our “Big Fat Italian Wedding” wasn’t enough, so we decided it was the perfect time to buy a new home, getting the keys just two weeks before our wedding day.
Now, back to the subject at hand – motherhood. I have experienced myself, and made observations of other friends and moms in my network, all making big life altering changes after having a child. I am a full-time working outside of the home mom and adjusting back to work after four months of maternity leave with my first born son was hard. Really hard. I have vivid memories of endless bottles and very little time with my sweet baby boy in the early weeks and months after going back to work. Regardless, I still decided it was the appropriate time to change my career and start a new job in an entirely new industry. That year transition was extremely difficult and taxing on me in so many ways. But even still, after having our second child, we willingly signed up for another huge change, moving yet again to a new house just two months before our son Leo was born.
I don’t think I am alone with this, I think it’s pretty common, but then again, maybe that’s just life, right? I have seen numerous friends change jobs, start new business ventures, move hundreds of miles away, buy houses, thrown themselves neck deep into home remodel projects, deciding to stop working all together, etc., all while either being pregnant or just having a child.
Why do we do it? Why do we continue to put the maximum amount of stress and change in our lives once children enter the picture? As if having kids isn’t enough! Kids change everything from relationships, your body, your thoughts, your home, your relationships with others, your knowledge sources, your perspectives, your fears and your heart.
I have a few ideas about why we seek out these changes after motherhood.
Subtraction by Addition
Life is crazy with kids, so why not just pile change on all at once. This way, we either adapt and survive, making the next change easier, or we curl up in the corner with a bottle of wine and 28 gossip magazines. Look, I get it; parenting wasn’t all we thought it would be. We have better days than we could have ever imagined and we most certainly have worse days than we ever imagined. Piling additional life changes on top of the tiny human now constantly attached to our bodies and minds might make the whole parenting thing a little bit easier. Subtraction by addition, this is wise advice I got from my eye Dr. who so casually encouraged me to have another child!
Striving for Perfection
This one is a tough one because it’s a constant battle, and one that no human being will ever win. Once we have children, we evaluate many things about their future. We think about their safety, education, financial support for their futures, and if we are being good role models for them to aspire to be like. Maybe our career changes, moving and work environments are an attempt to create a more perfect scenario to bring up our children within. We only want the best for our little ones and if we can make changes that we think will create something better for them; we want to make that change as soon as possible. I think that has been so much of why a career change has always been top of mind after children for me. I evaluate and strive for a more perfect situation to be the best working mom that I can be.
There are probably some people in our lives who are tired of hearing all about how little Johnny got his seventh tooth, or how little Stephanie started her first day of 3rd grade. Side note: maybe they are people we should be thinking about making big relationship changes with, I’m just saying! Well, with other significant life changes other than having our children, we’ve got something more to talk about! It’s distraction at its finest and allows us to focus on many aspects of life, not just tunnel vision on our little ones.
Tis’ the Season
Life happens in seasonal waves, and no, I’m not talking about the weather. We ride out waves of seasons as we travel through life with our peers experiencing college, weddings, babies, career achievements, unfortunately divorces, and on it goes. After having children, making some life adjustments just comes with the seasonal territory I guess. We are trying to shift our course to ride the waves and end up in a better destination than we were headed before children. Our children have opened our eyes to new levels of awareness and we are able to see a little more clearly about the direction we are going. Enter drastic life changes!
Maybe experiencing a big life change after children isn’t actual a big deal after all. Maybe it’s just life. God willing, there is a lot more to come. The experience of raising children is a big change. The changes to come throughout the rest of our lives are big as well. Nevertheless, changes will just keep coming because nothing in life is constant but change.