Having a career plan post birth is something most mum-to-be's leave off their pregnancy checklist. Why? Is it human nature? Primitive coding? Here's the thing, it's 2020 and women are screaming for equal pay and working in leadership roles, but it is often the case that those of us who want a family and a career loose sight of our career aspirations when morning sickness comes to visit. Sometimes, our language changes too. We stop referencing 'careers' and start talking about 'work', like it is no longer part of who we are, but a necessity or chore. Exploring your career and employment options before pregnancy is beneficial, but I challenge the mothers to be in this world to consider life from three key planning points -
1. Income Goals 1, 3 and 5 years from birth: What would you like to be earning after you give birth to your first child, or second? Chances are, you may have returned back to your role part time, earning less. Is that something you are able to accommodate? Alternatively, you have returned full time. Either way your expenses are higher. Babies cost some serious coin, and you might be okay with the financial sacrifice for a bundle of squishy love. However, consider short to mid term salary expectations over the coming years as you start your little family.
2. Primary carer expectations: Are you up for being the primary carer of your Bub? What are you walking away from currently or in the future to be there for your child 24/7? Write a list of all you will sacrifice and what potential opportunities in the first year or so of your child's life that you may forgo. We get Baby Goggles the moment we think of falling pregnant (that so called magic hormones). By forcing the goggles off for a moment, and discussing baby life with your partner or support team, you might find that you might not be the best person to take up round the clock childcare, and that is okay. Investigate your options if being highly connected to your career is something of value.
3. How do I stay in the Game? Are you pausing or pacing your ongoing personal development? Are you set on taking your maternity leave with each pregnancy and returning to (hopefully) where you left off? Or are you planning other activites to maintain or grow your skillset whilst you are not at work full time? I chose to study online to vamp up my skills in case I could not sustain my current role, as I was not planning on returning full time. Are you taking on extra courses, doing volunteer work, taking up a side hustle or whatever you can think of to maintain relevance or increase your viability and flexibility of employment? Crazy thought whilst you're pregnant or on maternity leave, right? A little, but a distraction from feeding and nappy changes can be quite fulfilling.
Mamma's to be, being a mother and a primary carer is actually a minimum of a 18 year commitment. You may find yourself in part time employment for quite a number of years, or unable to chase that dream role due to school pick up and other child focused activities. As much as your priorities are changing, do not forget your worth as a working woman. Invest in yourself. Create aspirations around your career, income and lifestyle, and of course, the reason for it all, your children.
If it's time to get serious about your work life mamma, book a complimentary Introductory Session today:
Vanessa is a professional career & business coach with experience in marketing & communications, small business operations, organisational culture & learning. She is currently undergoing further training & qualification with the LCA Australia and the International Coaching Federation. Vanessa has recently completed certification as a Wellness Facilitation Coach. Most importantly, she is a mother of two, teaching them to see the world with compassionate eyes and to act in kindness.