The Consequences of Pregnancy: Working While Mothering

Becoming a mother in August 2016 was the best thing that has happened to me in my adult years next to getting married. With that said, for the first four months after my duo was born, I careened through days and nights of figuring things out {like most first-time moms}. As I edged into month five post-partum, I was jerked back into the world of full-time work. Initially, I was a bit lost at managing work, mothering, and the logistics of running a home with a full-time nanny and carrying on as a wife. Finding the equilibrium for all my responsibilities as a woman working while mothering was often trial and error.

woman sitting on couch with laptop in lap while baby and toddler playThe consequence of pregnancy is a new set of responsibilities while trying to maintain obligations prior to having children. I struggled with what success looked like across the spectrum of my life. I’m an Enneagram 3, an Achiever. Therefore, success is important to me and the fear of failure can be crippling. My default mode is to lean in by overworking to feel and be successful. Before children, this tendency was easier to manage with mainly work to focus on and strive and achieve at. Now with children, I have a double-whammy of trying to be good and not fail at work and motherhood. There were times when marriage and other areas of my life had to take a back seat as my cup runneth over with commitments and interests.

Nearly seven years later, still working while mothering, my plate is still ever full. I felt like I knew about this consequence of pregnancy. I saw friends navigate work, family, children, and friends. It seemed frazzling at times, but generally doable. I was confident in my abilities to project manage the various areas of my life. Ah, but life with children is not a project management spreadsheet.  It oftentimes fails to fit neatly inside one’s calendar of activities. There’s always something unexpected happening; a nanny is late or sick; a kid falls down the steps and an unplanned trip to a doctor is needed; the car is making funny noises in the morning. These unexpected life events felt more controllable before children {with my rose-colored glasses of looking to the past}. The bigger challenge today versus yester-years is the pressure of getting it all done. Yes, I know, it’s likely self-inflicted pressure.  I want ‘all done’ to be wrapped in pretty wrapping paper with a pretty bow. I realize that this is unreasonable, yet that truth doesn’t lighten the load.

While not a defense, the corporate world reinforces the idea of being all things to everyone at the same time each and every day. It encourages delusions of ‘balance’ and ‘having it all’. It encourages the idea of mommy guilt while striving for the next big project or promotion. In my grounded mind, I know there is no such thing as ‘having it all.’ I know that I’m simply making choices. However, I’ve had to acknowledge that by not speaking up when the load of life gets too heavy, I’m not helping myself to be better at any of the roles and responsibilities I have.  So, I say to mothers, it’s all up to you. Working while mothering is hard. It doesn’t matter that it’s a choice or a requirement of your household to function. It’s okay to ask for help and it’s okay to need more support, and it’s okay to get different perspectives about doing things better, easier, or differently. You aren’t a failure. You are still an amazing, terrific, kick-butt success.

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Tiffany Harris
Tiffany is a bit of a wanderlust starting from her early years. She is the daughter of an Army veteran and was born in Georgia and has lived in Okinawa, Japan, Monterey, California, Dayton, Ohio and then spent the majority of her formative years growing up in Canton, Ohio where her parents were born and raised. For the last eleven years she has called Houston home. She's had some of her most transformative events happen here - her wedding and the birth of her twins. Over the years, even with children, she's continued to enjoy the friendly skies. She owes much of her traveling in the last ten years to visiting her younger sister who has lived in Okinawa, Japan, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Monterey, California, Muscat, Oman, and Cairo, Egypt. In her daily life, she is busy with her now five-year old twins {a boy and a girl} enjoying time with her engineer husband and spending time with friends. Tiffany is a fan of low-key spots in the city where she can enjoy a great cocktail or glass of wine.


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