On Making the Most of Motherhood

I left advertising to get a graduate degree not to accelerate my career but to actually take a pause.  Before I applied, someone described business school to me as a train stop to surround yourself with smart people and figure out what direction you want to head in next.  For me, that one pause gave me more confidence to take the next one, for motherhood.

Maybe it’s naive but I truly believe that for some women, slowing down to create space for motherhood can be just as valuable professionally as it is personally.  As often as there are days that I, like many stay-at-home or work-from-home mothers, struggle with the complexity of a new identity void of the formal business title,  I think motherhood gives us time (if we allow it to) to step back, grow more aware of our strengths and weaknesses, explore creative interests and come out the other side, whenever and if ever we are ready, with renewed energy and focus.

I don’t know when I’ll be ready to dial up work life beyond my two days a week of project work but I know that I’ll be much more focused on making those days count.    For now, I’m loving the idea of using this time with intention, not so dissimilar to how I used my time at business school: 1.  to build relationships with smart women from different industries and backgrounds 2.  to have real conversations that get me more confident with who I am, and 3.  to try things that may not have fit in my career prior and see where they take me.   Granted, there's the heavy caveat that most of this has to happen on Bodie's schedule.  So, think "networking", while just as powerful, is now within the context of play dates or classes.

Did you slow down or make transitions in your career to make room for motherhood? Do you think about it as space for yourself to learn too?