Leaving maternity leave …

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There’s a famous song from an old Soviet movie that begins like this: “Mom is the first word, the main word in every fate. Mom gave life, gave the world, to me and you ”. Very cool, over-the-top, fundamental, and very devaluing…

“Why?”, you’d ask. Because mom is a resource, an opportunity to be born, to make something of yourself, to go out into the world. She is not a person – she is like planet Earth, rich, generous and meek.

Let’s see who really is a “mother”? Mom is a woman and a person. And that means she has problems, questions, uncertainty, needs, plans for life.

But the process of motherhood consists, for the most part, of serving the needs and requirements of a small person. Life is arranged in such a way that a newly born person has no chance of surviving  on his own unless his entire environment is specially protected for him, guesses his desires for him and understands his discomfort (hunger, cold, teething pain), and creates safe environment for his development (cleanliness, safe toys, emotionally favorable atmosphere). Otherwise, this human child will either die or become ill – mentally or physically.

It’s the mom that creates such a safe environment. Her main task for the period from the moment of the beginning of the  pregnancy, ending with the point when the baby gains some autonomy is to turn into a hearing, a scent and an eye, peering, listening to all the subtleties of the development of the baby (sometimes before he’s even born), guessing his needs and satisfying them as quickly as possible.

First, the child is inside the mother’s body, and it’ s necessary to recognize his needs through the movements that occur directly in the belly. Then the baby is born, but doesn’t speak. You need to study all 50 shades of screaming, sometimes quite exhausting and aggressive, in order to fix a problem as soon as possible: stroking the belly to relieve intestinal colic, giving pain medication to reduce pain during teething, changing clothes because he peed too much and is cold.

Even in moments of maximum wholesomeness and reciprocated love with the child, mom is not autonomous. She feeds, strokes, cradles, holds him in her arms, turns on baby music, which means she’s again serving the needs of another creature.

What is the result? Mom forgets how to sense her needs, to be attentive to her state, to perceive her desires as something significant. This is not bad, nor is it good. It is how it works. It’s a given.

Suppose you are a mom, and that’s why you’re interested in reading this article. “What are the consequences of neglecting one’s needs?”, you ask.

Have you ever been faced with a question “What do you want?”

Very often, when a psychologist asks a mother what she wants, her eyes widen and she
“freezes”, not understanding the question … “What do you mean WANT? What’s that like?” If a career counselor asks her what she can offer her employer, what valuable skills she has, she will be sad and decide to have tea with cookies to eat away the sadness.

What reaction did you have? 

And now let’s presume that for some reason, you’re tasked with making your own income. There could be many reasons for that:

  • relationships with your husband is aggravated or ruined;
  • additional income was required;
  • the husband or another person who supported you and the child was fired from his job or the income-generating business fell apart;
  • the feeling of isolation or some difficult conditions related to the monotony of life increased (in this case, work is an opportunity to establish contact with the world);
  • you’re just tired of only being an environment comfortable for the child and no-one else;
  • you suddenly remembered that you used to have talents and dreams, that there were people who were proud of your successes;
  • you realized that you used to fucking like doing something other than feeding, washing and wiping the baby’s bottom.

All these reasons are significant enough to think about going back to work. But there is a whole set of different “Buts” that are found in the way of most mothers who want to start working. We’ll list them. They sound like this:

  • “Who am I?”  We have already discussed the reason for this problem, but once again we note that without an answer to this question, it’s difficult to start looking for work.
  • “When I worked in some role 2, 3, 5, and even 15 years ago, I was a completely different person. I liked other things; I was able to do something else. Now I can’t work for days, spend 9 hours on my feet or travel around the city by public transport. And I don’t like this music, or these products, or these conversations … ” Yes, time passes, and you change, and those answers that were once about you ”are now out of date. And we need new ones.
  • “The world was completely different. Now you don’t need to ring the Yellow Pages directory to sell office supplies. Now we don’t need a special person to sit by the fax machine, wait for a call and press the “receive fax” button, we don’t need to copy training materials, everyone learns remotely using special interactive online whiteboards.” And yes, again, merciless time is changing the outside world, the demands of the professions, and the tools that we use at work. Therefore, what you’ve studied and learned a year ago may no longer be relevant today.
  • “I can’t sit in the office from morning till night, carrying out incomprehensible instructions from my superiors.  “My child wants to eat, needs care, he needs me mentally healthy, with at least some margin of optimism and vitality.” Your life has changed. Now there’s very little free time, a lot of work, a lot of responsibility. It’s impossible to act in a hurry, and it won’t work. You need a good plan.

It becomes clear that a tea party isn’t gonna be enough. Sadness, confusion, and misunderstanding make it difficult to think properly. Therefore, we offer you a simple and understandable action plan.

1. Understand how much time you have per day to solve a problem related to employment or choosing your favorite hobby. Get started today.

2. Try to work on your professional development at the same time every day, so that the body and the brain get used to it and begin to prepare for every upcoming lesson.

3. Get a notebook where you’ll write down good ideas about who you can work for and how to make money.

4. Recall all your talents since childhood and write them in this notebook.

5. Which of these would you like to develop now? Circle them on the list.

6. Ask your friends and acquaintances what qualities they value the most in you. Compare this to a list of your talents. Are there any intersections?

7. Lists who work people with talents from your list?

8. Ask your friends or read on the Internet where people are looking for work.

9. Find out how specialists of this profile demonstrate their skills: – portfolio; – CV; – a social media page. Choose what you can make of it.

10. Determine the price at which you’re ready to offer your services. It’s better to start with a small price, but not too small, so as not to seem strange. Check out the marketplace where other specialists offer their services, how much such work costs. Start with a price slightly below average.

11. Start offering your services. Do it every day for 15-30 minutes. And then after 7-10 days you’ll receive the first responses. Continue to do this until you reach the desired level.

12. If one direction didn’t work out, go back to point 4, re-evaluate your talents, and once again do everything according to plan for the new direction you’ve selected.

Good luck! Invite your friends to discuss your issues more often. Often, whilst you’re explaining the root of your problem to others, you realize how to solve it yourself.