Purposeful Work as a Parent – Is It Even Possible?!
Becoming a mom is a life-transforming experience; For those who chose this path of parenthood, it’s a watershed of a woman’s life – and her path to maturity and personal power.
We used to find pleasures in little details in life and in beautiful things we own.
We used to travel so much that one passport is not enough to contain all the immigration stamps.
We used to idealise our marriage lives and have faith that we’ll live happily ever after. Even so, no one said there won’t be life lessons now and then for us to grow!
Now there is a tiny human being who almost cannot survive without you around. With that identify shift, our priorities differ.
Maybe you were the kind of woman who has always been very career-driven, but since your child is born, your world, and your worldviews have gone through a shapeshift!
You are still ambitious and want to achieve more in life – yet getting ahead and being recognised in the corporate world cannot satisfy you anymore. Your definition of success has now been expanded – you want to thrive in ALL aspects of life, because life satisfaction is integral of how happy you are with your family, career, finance, personal and social lives.
Yet, the version of you today understands that trading time and effort for cash, although it worked when we were younger, is no longer a smart strategy.
You become picky in what work to take; Because the work you do have to be meaningful and worthwhile enough, so that sacrificing your time to be with your precious child is worth it, or at least well-compensated emotionally, financially and practically for it.
Sounds like you? Read on.
Where Practicality Meets Heart-Centered Decisions
Now what? You might wonder, “I need the cash to feed the extra mouth, yet I’m less flexible in terms of the choice of work I could take, cos’ I’ve subscribed to an unpaid childcare job called motherhood!”
Therefore to pursue time and location flexibility, many mums start online gigs, get trained to be a consultant/coach/healer/tarot reader, or maybe enrol in network marketing as their new careers. Not everyone can make it as their full-time income, but these can be a good supplement of income for home-bound mums.
What should I start then, you may wonder?
First, let’s define what purposeful work means to you:
- Job Nature: Do the main tasks at work excites you, or at least feels easy to you? Does the role allow you to express your passion, gifts and skills? What are you good at doing(i.e. skills) that strengthens you when you use it?
- People that you interact with: Are your clients, supervisors and colleagues reasonable and uplifting? Do you have confidence in building a positive relationship with these people?
- Workstyle match: Do the culture and workstyle allow you to work the way you prefer e.g. flexitime?
- Values and priorities: Is the company/ work that you do align with what you believe is important and meaningful to you, and meaningful to the world? E.g. environmental friendly and cruelty-free production
In my opinion, it’s actually easier to identify meaningful work as a mum than when we were in our teens – because it takes a lot of self-understanding to know our values, and how to bring joy to our work. After taking many experiments in life, we are taking back the responsibility of our lives in our own hands, and able to add a layer of realness to the idealistic impression of what purposeful work means to us. Plus, our new time constraints and responsibilities activate more creativity in us to make things happen!
Rediscover Purposeful Work As A Parent: A 9-Step Exercise
So if you are ready to rediscover purposeful work as a parent, here’s a quick exercise to get you started:
- Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and ask yourself, ” What would it take to make my work works for me?“, and see where intuition is guiding you.
- Get a few pieces of A4 papers to do a brain dump with the questions above in the 4 major areas: Job nature, people that you interact with, workstyle match, and values and priorities. Don’t judge your answers; just write them all down.
- Look at your answers – What are the common themes or keyphrases between your answers?
- Identify your Top 5 qualities that contains your “must-haves” in your next job; all the rest become a nice-to-have at this point in life.
- Put your hands on your heart, look into the mirror and speak to yourself, “It’s my time, and I’m ready for the next step!“
- Then narrow down the career options from the Top 5, eliminate jobs that doesn’t feel right, and brainstorm for possible career options.
- If you are keen to start your own business or freelance practice in the long term, how comfortable are you financially to spend 6-9 months building your practice with the risk of no income? What options are alright for you in the short run then?
- Ask yourself, on an identity level, “Who do I need to BECOME so I can find purposeful work as a parent?”
- And start planning your way to become the person you wish to become!
All real changes start with an intentional identity shift. Finding purposeful work all comes down to knowing what you can contribute to the world that is meaningful to you and others, and then making an effort and using creative problem solving to bring that to life!
Are you ready to embody your purpose at work, and design it to integrate with your life as a parent?
I invite you to have a reading with me so we can co-create this together!