Being a Mother Doesn’t Mean Giving Up the Rest of Your Life
A friend of mine saw this and sent it to me. Thought it would be perfect to post here! This is an article from the Hartford Courant.
5:26 a.m. EST, November 28, 2011
Truth be told, I had an identity crisis when I was pregnant.
I was incredibly excited about becoming a mom but really confused about my career. I had worked so hard, trying to prove myself in a super-competitive business, but then it seemed as if the questions increased along with my waistline.
Everywhere I turned family, friends and co-workers were asking: “What are you going to do? Are you going to quit?” There were all of these expectations that I couldn’t possibly be having babies, want to take care of them and still manage to have something valuable to add to the professional arena. I kept thinking: “Wait a minute. I’m still here. I still have something to say.”
“Becoming a mom doesn’t mean you become this single two-dimensional person,” says Patty Lennon, a “mother’s advocate” who lives in Danbury. She believes society’s perceptions, such as “she no longer reads, she no longer learns, she no longer has interests” need to change. “In fact, you have kids and suddenly you want so much more for yourself and the expansion of what you want for the world changes.”
On Mother’s Day, Lennon launched a website called “Mom Gets a Life,” which shows women how to put themselves back on the “to-do” list by helping them discover what “lights them up.” This former vice president at a global bank with two young children decided to reinvent herself by leaving the corporate world and becoming an entrepreneur.
Now Lennon has helped about 100 clients find their destiny: “Women go from being stay-at-home moms who weren’t satisfied to inventing a product that solves a need and never in a million years believing they could do that!”
She thinks helping Mom find bliss benefits the whole family: “Happier moms equal happier kids and happier dads.”
Lennon believes the definition of our job is, in fact, changing. “We’re creating a new paradigm around motherhood where there’s many options and many choices and we have the freedom to make those choices.” Maybe staying in the corporate world is the answer for you. Or “there are moms who understand [that] wait a minute — I want to stay home with my kids!” Lennon gives us permission to be who we are.
“What makes me happy looks very different from what makes you happy.”
In the end my bosses were really patient with me and agreed to a part-time schedule. Together we’ve made it work and I take my role very seriously. I’m not undependable; I have never once missed a deadline. In fact, I feel that I’m now a more wise, focused and empathetic reporter.
A few years ago, I won my first Emmy Award. Then another one came along. I’m really proud of them, and not because they’re impressive bookends, but because of the timing. To me those golden guys say, “Look. I’m still relevant. Part-time doesn’t mean part-quality.”
It wasn’t easy but I found the balancing act that works for me, and I’m fulfilled by my work — in the office and at home.