Two years ago, I left my stable 9-5 nutritionist job that I had for six years in NYC to move to a city with a slower pace of life and more affordable living. I took a break from growing my career and chose to focus solely on growing my family—I was 5 months pregnant when I moved and I didn’t like the forecast of putting my future baby in daycare when she turned 2 or 3 months old.
I interviewed for several jobs, applied to even more, and 8 months ago I started working where I am now. It’s almost 2 years since I moved, and I am now at the point where I have finally achieved a renewed sense of mastery in my professional life.
Sure, it’s not what I envisioned when I left NYC. Instead of a fulfilling part-time outpatient nutritionist job and a thriving private practice on the side, I am working as a full-time early childhood educator. But my main goal was to be able to spend time with my baby (now toddler!) daughter, and since she goes to said preschool, and I even work in her room a few hours a day—I’d say I’ve achieved my goal! Plus, I’ve always been fascinated by child development, so this is a good fit overall.
Two years after leaving NYC, and I’ve finally developed a sense of mastery again when it comes to my professional life. And I keep wondering—what will happen when baby #2 comes along?
Mostly I wonder about how long I will be out of work. I am fortunate to work in a place where my baby can be, but even so, the first couple months of a baby’s life yield very little sleep for the mother, and I will likely want to focus on taking care of my one baby, and not the other precious little ones in a classroom. Not to mention the morning sickness of the early months of pregnancy—that can really disturb one’s flow at work as well!
Becoming a mother is amazing, and in our modern world, we are all finding ways to balance motherhood with our professional selves.
But it’s hard!
It reminds me of when I had a back injury in my twenties…
Just a few months after I began teaching a yoga class to my community in NYC, I incurred a back injury that got worse and worse and I had to stop teaching. I couldn’t even do 75% of the poses myself. Both realities were very frustrating and weighed heavily upon me. I resented it a lot.
Being pregnant was reminiscent of my previous back injury in that, even though thank G-d my back was 100% (I give swimming a lot of credit for that!) I had to cut out a significant number of yoga poses such as inversions and twists, which are contraindicated when pregnant.
It felt restrictive to have these limitations and I missed doing certain yoga poses.
The body changes that occur during pregnancy, the increased responsibilities of raising a child, all demand a lot from a woman’s body, as well as her mind, heart, and soul.
Every woman figures it out and often I think it looks seamless from the outside. But it’s not. One has to be flexible and open to rolling with the punches of life. It takes a certain level of maturity, as well as faith, and A LOT of patience.