Millennial Working Mom
As a married, twenty-something, career-climbing Millennial, I already knew I was a bit ahead of the curve, as it pertained to launching a professional career and receiving a salary that could support me without depending on my parents' help. I was doing it all! But, it was not until a few weeks after I had delivered my first child, at 24 years-old, that I realized the climb up that "corporate ladder" was going to be a bit harder than I had originally thought.
Compared to some, my pregnancy was a breeze! It did not slow me down. In the workplace, I was able to keep the same pace as I had kept pre-pregnancy. I lived in the Big Apple (New York City), and had landed a pretty nice job with a major company within months after graduating college. I married the love of my life, whom I had met while in college. And, we were ecstatic about the arrival of our new baby, a healthy baby boy!
Life was good. I had properly handled my responsibilities at work so that I could go on maternity leave without leaving a mess for my co-workers. And, I actually worked right up to the day before I delivered. Everything was going along, as planned. However, I did not foresee the obstacles I would face in the workplace upon my return from maternity leave. Things were rapidly changing.
When I left to go on maternity leave, I was a wife and a pregnant career woman. But, when I returned from maternity leave, I was a wife, a career woman, and a proud, breast-feeding new MOM! I knew it would require adjustments. But, I didn't realize how significant those adjustments would be for the people around me, in the workplace. And, I didn't realize how much of an effect one person would have on shifting my life.
My life as a new mom was going as anticipated. It was my life as a "working mom" that had drastically shifted. While I was out on maternity leave, a new executive had been hired. That new executive decided to restructure, which included reassigning me and my duties to a different team within the company. Needless to say, it was an uphill battle, that was not sensitive to my other duties as a wife and new (breast-feeding) mom.
After battling a series of unethical dictatorship decisions from the new executive, my husband and I decided I would leave that company, and move our young family from New York City (where we barely had familial support) to Atlanta (where we have more familial support). In a big way, I was thrilled to be able to spend quality time with my (still breastfed) 6-month-old son, and spend time with family. I had only taken 6-weeks of maternity leave. So, this change was a welcomed break. I could focus on being a breast-feeding mom, without having to worry about the backlash from work.
We settled in the Atlanta area. And, I took for granted that I would be able to find employment. After my first attempts, I became discouraged, and just decided to take more time to spend more time with my husband and son, doing the things that I loved! So, I spent my days being a mommy, being a wife, and doing artistic things. I painted! (Luckily, we had saved our money while we were in New York.) I was able to decompress from the NYC corporate world experience. Then, the time came for me to begin the interview process, again.
I was disappointed about the way my previous job had ended. I was working at a place where I truly enjoyed my co-workers....until the new executive came onboard and completely changed the culture. But, I had chalked that up to an isolated experience, for which I had taken the time to get over.
So, to make a long story not-so-long, I landed an interview for a new job! I was thrilled! The interview was scheduled to last for 3.5 hours. The first 2.5 hours were GREAT! I had made it though the interview process, gloriously! Then, there was one more person to interview me. What are the odds that the person would be someone (a man) who was friends with the exact same executive that had played a huge role in causing the discomfort at my previous job??? What are the odds of THAT?? Needless to say, I didn't get the job.
So, now, with the help of my life coach, I am taking on one project at a time. I am discovering, and rediscovering, my talents. Although I enjoyed my previous job, there were ways in which I was not fully able to use my talents and skills. But, now, I'm learning to reinvent myself. I'm learning, as a twenty-something adult, that things really do happen for a reason. I just have to remember to be patient as I go through the process. With the help of my life coach, I'm learning to embrace this time that I have with my son. He will not be a baby forever. And, I'm learning that disruptions are not always bad. Rebuilding my life, that was moving along so smoothly, is teaching me that we will all have bumps and bruises in life. I'm just glad that I found the benefits of using a life coach before my bumps and bruises controlled my life. I may not know WHEN I will return to full-time employment. But, each time I hold my son, I know WHY the disruption happened.
About the author: Robyn is a mom and wife with project management, creative marketing, and analytics experience. She is a contributing author to the Only You (Self-Improvement Motivation & Life Coaching) blog. Robyn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications & Public Relations.