I am struggling. Struggling to find the perfect spot for me between career, marriage, and motherhood. I know I'm not the first woman to be concerned with losing her identity when thinking about getting pregnant. I know I'm not the only working woman who wants to be able to spend as much time as possible with her eventual baby. I know all of these things, but that doesn't make my personal journey any less authentic or important.
It was most recently triggered by a TEDtalk. If you've never heard a TEDtalk, stop reading my blog and visit their website NOW. It will change your life. Anyway, in the quest to cut TV watching--more specifically streaming certain shows (namely it alternates between Grey's Anatomy, True Blood, The Walking Dead, Army Wives, Orange is the New Black, whichever is currently running)--out of my life I am trying to find a healthier habit to transfer to while I eat lunch/dinner when I'm by myself at home. I tried reading, but I feel like my meal is a time when I need to veg-out for some reason, so I needed something educational to replace the mind-numbing mess of drama shows. Enter TEDtalks.
After listening to an amazing talk by Brene Brown on Vulnerability, one I had heard to before and loved just as much the second time, I followed a link to one by Larry Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career, which was actually not that good, BUT he did mention Steve Job's Stanford Commencement Speech, which I amazingly hadn't seen yet. It was impressive (as everyone else online in the 21st century already knows). That got me interested in his personal life and more specifically his wife and what she was doing after his passing. Laurene Powell Jobs is a pretty powerful woman. In fact, she is on Forbes 2013 The World's 100 Women Who are Redefining Power. As is Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. Reading about her got me intrigued with her life and that led me to her book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, which led me to Jenny Kuhle's blog and her post about being a working woman who left the workforce after having babies, not a new situation, but she really struggles with the same issue that I am about to face--what am I to do once I have a baby?
Whether or not to remain at my job is not a question. I love teaching and it is a passion for me that is part of what makes me who I am. I've already decided that I will continue teaching, that I will continue graduate school, and that I will juggle to make it all work. However, that doesn't mean it will be easy and that doesn't mean that I won't feel pulled either to my job or to my child or to both simultaneously.
In order to help calm my fears about the whole baby idea, I've set a few goals in different areas of my life to accomplish this semester (this is not to say that we are going to TTC after December, this is just my first step towards being more okay with where I am before even thinking more about being a mom (Pinterest has pushed me too far along on that thought-train!)
Hopefully my goal sheet will help someone else trying to plan what to do before trying to conceive or what to do in the months before getting pregnant.