Well, how didn't it? But seriously, have you ever met a mother who didn't feel SOME level of shift if her priorities post children? I can't speak for other women, but I can tell you my story - I think so many of you will find parts that resonate with your own reckoning of career postpartum.
Before I had Charlie, I had a very demanding, high stress job, and I loved the shit out of it. I didn't always love everything about it, let's be clear, but I did love that it was important and highly skilled work that not just anyone could do. I loved that I had busted my ass to get to a place where I was valued and had a seat at every leadership table offered at my institution. I loved that it was hard.
But then I had Charlie, and I realized that traveling all the time, and donor dinners, and weekend events were quickly getting REAL stale. I mean my baby went to bed at 7, do you know how many bedtimes I missed? Do you know how many hours I spent connected to a pump in airport bathrooms? How many dinners I had to "rush along" so that I could go and relieve my poor boobs of damn near pounds of milk? How many times I got mastitis? How many times I had to close the door to my office so that no one would see me cry when someone put a 5 pm meeting on my calendar which meant I wouldn't see my baby that night?
I never lost my motivation for my career, but I fell out of love with the lifestyle of the rat race. You wonder why so many women don't end up in leadership positions in corporations and it's largely because they don't want them by the time they are qualified for them because - NEWSFLASH, working for the man totally sucks.
So I went to work building a side hustle that replaced the income I needed to stay home in 18 months. During that time, I got pregnant (again.) and had another baby. When Cooper was born, I left my day job without even a moments hesitation. I got so many questions.
"Are you sure?"
"Are you coming back down the road?"
"Will you look somewhere else?"
"Are you worried this will set you back in your career?"
And I get it, it's a big decision, but for me, it was the easiest choice I ever made. Motherhood didn't rip me of my motivation and gift me baby-brain. It made me get REAL FREAKING CLEAR on what I wanted for my life and what I was willing to sacrifice.
I wanted to build something that felt inline with what I stand for - with who I am. I wanted the freedom to decide how much I worked. I wanted the opportunity to make WHAT MY TIME WAS WORTH (which is a lot by the way. Your time is worth a lot.) I wanted to do something that my children could look back and say "What a boss bitch was mom?!"
If I was going to leave my children, it was going to because I saw the value in what I was doing, and I decided it was worth my time. So YES, I was very sure. No, I have not regretted leaving behind a 10 year career for one single second. YES, it's hard as shit to be with my kids all day. YES, I am 10 times more proud of what I've built on my own than I was fundraising for some other guy's dream. I am MORE motivated than I ever was before my children. I have never worked harder in my life than after I had kids.
Children make women TENACIOUS. Children light women on FIRE. Children make women open their eyes. I won't sit here and tell you my children are my "why." But I will tell you that my children are the ones that helped me realize what it was - to boldly help other women get their minds, bodies and businesses UP and RUNNING and THRIVING.
Motherhood doesn't take your motivation, it simply shines a light on where it should have been for you the whole time.