66: Why we are ALL working mamas. With your host Nicole De Leon on postpartum anxiety, quitting her former career & profound identity shifts.
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Stay at home mamas, working mamas, work from home mamas, mamas who homeschool. . .we are ALL working mamas!
Going through the disillusioning early postpartum phase, where I abruptly transitioned from a full time teacher to a full-time mom, I realized ALL sides of motherhood need to be highlighted. This is why I am sharing MY experience with stay at home & work from home mama-hood with you here today.
This episode is meant to connect mamas who may be feeling guilty, like I did, for being an “at home” mom, or mamas who feel guilty for being “working moms.”
I want mamas to realize that we all have moments where we feel alone. We all have moments where we feel completely exhausted or disillusioned. And we all have moments where we feel gratitude, and joy and everything in between. Just because I wasn’t checking off the box “working mom” or “career mom”, didn’t mean I was irrelevant. It’s enough that we impose the heavy weight of mom guilt on ourselves, but even more that we often think someone else’s story is better than our own.
I realize I am beyond fortunate to have even have had the choice to stay home with my baby.
Not everyone has that option, and we have had to make financial sacrifices (big time) for me to make this decision. Although I knew in my heart of hearts that staying home with the baby was right for me, it hasn’t been a walk in the park and it hasn’t been without tons of challenges. For instance, I put A LOT of pressure on myself for choosing not to go back to work after my baby was born. I also but a ton of pressure on myself when I would leave the house to go work on something important to me-like this podcast.
It was through learning that I was enough and that I did deserve self care that I began to find myself again.
Like I said above, it hasn’t been a seamless journey but my intense postpartum anxiety has been alleviated a lot through saying yes to my decisions and trusting myself. Motherhood is always a dance, and I still have days where someone’s comment about stay at home motherhood feels like a punch in the stomach. I also have days where I feel so tired I forget who I am or I need a break so badly I feel I might be going crazy. But of course, there are the days that I feel like I can soar with the love I have for my toddler and the path that I’ve chosen.
I realize that we can experience all of the feelings above literally ALL AT ONCE as mamas and that it is never going to be the perfect picture of “balance” often projected in social media.
Mamas, you’ve got this. The good, bad, ugly and everything in between. Love yourself and other mamas for their choices because we need mom community for lifting each other up.
Why I feel it is important to shed light on all facets of motherhood and to lift one another up as mamas
Why sharing our stories are so important and connecting for mothers.
The biggest shock of all-going from full time working woman to full time stay at home mama and the reasons I chose not to return to my “real job.”
My experience with postpartum anxiety and how that was a major impetus for wanting to stay home with the baby.
How I wasn’t taking mommy breaks or saying yes to help and therefore further exacerbating my postpartum anxiety and exhaustion.
The importance of saying YES to help and how these set the ball in motion for my self care journey.
Why I didn’t want to just follow the status quo anymore.
The challenges of male and female roles and relationships postpartum.
Why I believe we should resist trying to please everyone else in order to lead by example for our kids.
“With the rough birth experience, I feel like it really led to exacerbating my postpartum anxiety-something that I didn’t even realize I had until much later.”
“Everything changed the moment I met, met my baby”
“So that first three months postpartum were the hardest three months of my life.”
“I’ve never been so in love with another being before. And I’ve also never been so hyper, hyper worried. . . I had never felt such a heightened level of fear and protection and worry in my entire life.”
“Then when I did start saying yes to help and taking my 45 minute surf sessions again. . . I felt like I could do anything.”
“So the impetus for the podcast came from this shift that I was having in my internal self. didn’t realize that I really WANTED to talk about motherhood and these important subjects like; what’s our identity if we’re not returning to work, who are we now?
“I think it’s so important to model to our kids that it’s not about pleasing anybody else, but just being who we are and not resisting because we think we’re doing something wrong.”
Connect with Nicole:
Facebook Group: Soul Mammas Podcast