A Mom's Journey Back to Working
I was quite distracted by the newness of becoming a mom and the luxury of not working, but eventually I started to feel like I wasn't doing anything with my life and I wanted to contribute something monetary.
Like a lot of people in the United States, I had my first job around 16 years old. Anyone else worked as a cashier in their local grocery store as a first time gig?
The first few days felt scary because suddenly I'm in charge of money (and not only did I not like math, I sometimes froze up when I had to do it in front of people). Then it was fun to make money because there were things I could buy for myself without having to ask parental permission. Before I could dread the going-and-coming, summer was over and it was back to being a full time high school student.
In college, I decided to work a handful of hours per week for extra cash during the school year. In my sophomore year I started staying at school during the summer to work. I had a lot of fun!
After graduating, I tried many full time positions. I wanted a career in writing, which was my passion, but I didn't feel confident about my skills. I was also afraid to solely rely on making money from my passion because I didn't want to start hating it.
That's probably why every year I was doing a different job or career. I wanted to find my "thing". I didn't think it was odd at the time that I switched so often. I didn't want to spend decades doing one job I didn't like for a sense of retirement security. I knew I wanted to help people, but the how felt elusive.
Pregnancy took me out of the workforce. My partner and I both felt strongly about me not working. It was easy the first few months. I was quite distracted by the newness of becoming a mom and the luxury of not working, but eventually I started to feel like I wasn't doing anything with my life and I wanted to contribute something monetary.
So, I started a blog. I didn't start it to make money. I wanted an outlet for expressing myself. I did try here and there to write e-books and sell them, but with a small following of friends and family, it didn't take off. After my son was born, I stopped blogging for a few months. He was all I could think about and wanted to think about.
After a few months, even with writing on my blog, I started to feel an itch to work. My partner and I were in complete agreement that a traditional job, especially one where I left our son, was not an option. Before long, I manifested a job where I could take my son for a couple of hours a week. Eventually it started to feel like a chore because I wasn't enjoying myself. It was also not the right fit to manage with my son. Then the pandemic happened and I had to leave anyway.
After a few months, I started to wonder about working again. I realized I needed to start putting myself out there with writing instead of seemingly doing everything I could to avoid it. I had to set an example for my son, too. Even more so, the value of working remotely was becoming more in demand and writers were at the top of the list of needed people. So, I started advertising myself as a Writer and I applied for similar jobs. It surprisingly didn't take long to find online opportunities.
After realizing I could have ripped the Writer imposter syndrome band-aid off sooner, I decided to go even further with my writing by investing in learning different techniques. I was no longer just interested in telling my story, so I found a mentor and invested in being a Copywriter to tell people's stories in a way that was not only fun and challenging for me, but flexible for my family.
It was scary to take my natural ability to the next level. At times I felt like I was too old to learn a new skill. I'm thankful for my son for reminding me to try new things and expand on my innate skill set.
I also wondered what it would be like being a working mom. Would people think I'm selfish for wanting to work? It didn't matter after I thought about it. Society still hasn't made up its mind if being a full time mom or a working one is "acceptable" for a woman to be. Why would I listen to anything it has to say about my choices?
I just want to find happiness and balance. I'm not all the way there, but the road I'm traveling on, the journey I'm taking, is leading me closer to a more complete life.
How about you, momma? What’s your working momma journey been like?
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Nadia Rumbolt
Nadia Rumbolt is a mom of many trades, including creative writing, blogging, van life, minimalism, veganism, the beach, nature, and the occult.