I am 33. I am a woman, a wife, an entrepreneur, a mentor, a learner, and lately have become a mother.
My little boy, Maxime, has just turned four months, and I am very pleased to be back to work after spending my maternity leave with my husband and his family in heavenly Brittany, France.
I am still very new into motherhood and only started being a working mum this month, but I do feel that the whole experience has already transformed me greatly, in a hugely positive way, rather surprisingly:
#1: I have become more focused
Now everything costs money, meaning that when I go out to meet people and do my work, there is a cost for me to send my son to a nursery or a nanny to look after him. That means I need to prioritise my tasks really well and spend my time even more wisely. Now when I set up every meeting, either for work or leisure, I will ask myself a question: “Does this meeting really worth my time? Do I really need to meet this person? Are there other ways to do it more efficiently?” It sounds horrible that I am being selective about who I am meeting, but as time is not as generous as pre-motherhood era, I have to be very brutal and ensure that I am making best use of my time.
Now when I set up every meeting, either for work or leisure, I will ask myself a question: “Does this meeting really worth my time? Do I really need to meet this person? Are there other ways to do it more efficiently?”
#2: I have become more productive
Time has become even more sacred after having a child. Besides feeding my baby five times a day round the clock (including a feed at 3am, everyday) and happily giving him undivided attention when I am with him, I still want to continue to pursue my passion at work and grow my business. I am not willing to give up what I am passionate about, besides my family. That means I need to achieve more with the same or even shorter number of hours in a day. Every minute counts. I am pushed to be even more productive at work and in life generally. Having said that, relaxation or exercise is vital to being productive so I do ensure that I still make time to wind down when I can throughout the day, even if it is just five minutes when my baby is taking a nap.
#3: I even start believing “I am capable of doing everything”
Being a mother is totally new to me and it opened up a whole new world to me. Before having a child, I didn’t really understand about the feeling and impact of having sleepless nights for months. I didn’t truly understand what unconditional love is for other people beyond myself. I didn’t really think that everything is possible if we have the willpower. Having a child does make me think that I can do almost everything for the survival and happiness of my child, including having only three hours sleep for a few months (as I was breastfeeding round the clock), which I thought I couldn’t do it but I did. Everything seems possible, if I want to!
Having a child does make me think that I can do almost everything for the survival and happiness of my child, including having only three hours sleep …
#4: I have got to know myself better
Now I am a mother and am growing a little human being everyday. I do feel I am held 100% responsible for his upbringing. I am directly and indirectly implanting different values and beliefs to him everyday. I have become more conscious about who I am, what I say and what I do as a person, and as a mother. If there is one thing that I want or must teach my son, that will be resilience – how to be resilient in his life. I want him to know how to handle all sorts of emotions and difficulties with positivity when he is older. Motherhood has helped me get to know myself better and help sharpen my business decision-making – as I have become more self-aware.
I have become clearer about what I want which then helps me make quicker and better decisions.
#5: I have become a quicker, if not better, decision-maker
I have enjoyed being a mother but at the same time I realised that I need space for myself, I need to keep learning, and I need balance in life. Hence, I decided to continue to pursue my passion for public speaking and rejoin my beloved Toastmasters club this month. I have made conscious decision of letting my boy to go to a trusted nursery at four months old (when it is a norm for mothers to stay out of work for almost a year in the UK) so that I can have the time and space needed to grow my business, 11K Consulting. I have become clearer about what I want which then helps me make quicker and better decisions.
The whole experience from creating life to giving birth was utterly magical, though there were painful and frustrating times.
#6: I appreciate life more: Nothing comes easy
The whole experience from creating life to giving birth was utterly magical, though there were painful and frustrating times. Only after having the unique experience of giving birth myself, I realised how blissful it is to be born to this earth. It is such a joy to see how my boy discovers new things and new skills everyday, such as using both hands to hold a bottle for a few minutes, observing the world intensely, and responding to smiles – which we, adults, may take them for granted for a very, very long time. It is really the small things that matter in life. It is about the journey and I must remember to enjoy the amazing journey of motherhood (in fact, everything in life) while it lasts.
All in all, being a mother is magical. I look forward to seeing my boy (and my business – my second child!) grow everyday.