Redefining Success After Maternity Leave

Self Awareness, Women Empowerment, Work Life Integration
02/28/17 - Taslim Vastani

Well, I’m doing it. I’m actually going to write down the words: I am a different person after having a baby. I want to have a career. I want to be a physically (and mentally) present wife and mom. I want to do things for me. I want my son to look up to me. I want MORE……PHEW! That was hard. Wanting more once you’re a mom, and actually saying out loud that you want more – and acting on that, are very different things. When I came back to work after 10 months of maternity leave, I admit that I was VERY conflicted. I wasn’t ready to leave my baby, but at the same time, I was (SO) ready to be among adults again. I was ready to use my brain in a different way again and I was ready to be needed in a different way again. What I didn’t see coming was just how different I would be once I did come back to work. My priorities are different. The way I approach my team is different. The way I think is different. The way I work is different.

I am not the same person anymore, and that simple term that I used to love, Team Queen, hit me like a TON OF BRICKS. After 4 months of floundering and trying to “rediscover my work self,” I have realized that I forgot about the very premise of my “Queen of My Success” blog! Define what success means to you. Remember that it’s okay to have varying definitions of success because it’s your success. I want a career. I want to grow personally and professionally – for me. BUT I also want to grow for my family. I want my son to believe that you can get what you are looking for in life if you work hard, and if you believe in yourself. I want to lead by example for him. So that he not only believes it, but so that he also knows it.

Okay so now that that is sorted out, all I have to do is figure out what success means to me now that I’m a mom – easy, right? Ummm, not so easy. I will say that while I haven’t figured out my complete definition of success, I have started with my non-negotiables. I’m starting with working through the answer of the type of lifestyle I am looking for, and then using that to define where I want to go both personally and professionally. Because life is different for me now, I need to approach defining what success means for me in a different way. As much as I wish I had realized this fact 4 months ago, I believe that I had to go through this adjustment period (a.k.a. “the floundering period”) in order to best define (and believe) my non-negotiables: I want to have a career. I want to be a physically (and mentally) present wife and mom. I want to do things for me. I want my son to look up to me.

Before I close, I thought it would be important…No – critical for me to say that these 3 paragraphs have taken me over a month to write. Not because I didn’t know what to write, but because I was terrified of the fact that writing it down would make it real. I’d be admitting to what I originally thought was some form of failure. Becoming a mom is the most challenging, stressful, depressing, exhausting, hair-falling-out-make-me-crazy, absolutely incredible and mind-blowing thing that has ever happened to me – all at the same time! My biggest learning (in the last month) has been: Cut yourself some slack, Taslim! So, to the future moms, almost moms-to-be, new moms, experienced moms – to all of you: Cut yourself some slack! We grow HUMANS!! Granted, I often forget to do this very simple act of breathing and cutting myself that little bit of slack, but now, I know it. Now, I believe it a little bit more everyday.

Finally, let’s recap:

1. Cut yourself some slack!

2. Define your non-negotiables

3. Start defining your success

Can’t wait to hear what you think and what success looks like for you!

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Taslim Vastani

Hi I’m Taslim. I’m a woman, a mom, a wife – basically a super-human! I’m passionate about baking, #momlife, my career and recently, I’ve discovered a passion for writing. I believe in talking about issues that impact women, whether its about professional growth, “leaning in,” or tough life issues. When I’m not writing, or baking, I’m likely at my “day job” – consulting; or at my “24-hour” job – being a wife and mom! It’s the craziest ride, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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