The question is simple, "What do you do?" Yet motherhood makes the answer complex. Before children, you probably responded to this question with your career profession, "I'm a HR Manager." Once children enter the picture, your heart wants to lead with, "I'm a mother," but your head advises you to lead with something perceived as more credible first.
Why is that? There are a number of reasons, but the one that rises to the top is your desire for importance and significance.
Whether you're spiritually inclined or not, I'm sure there's part of you who longs to make a contribution and live a meaningful life. Becoming a mother only strengthens this longing because now you want to leave a legacy for your children. As a result the simple question, "What do you do?" transforms into the more difficult question, "Who are you?"
A lot of changes occur in the transition from working woman to working mother, yet so few women recognize the change or actively do anything to bridge the gap between the two phases of life. Somewhere in between meaning, significance and importance is lost making the new question, "Who are you?" harder to answer.
The key to understanding the importance of knowing who you are can be explained by considering a metaphor; your life is like a computer.
When you first purchased your computer, it was installed with a specific operating system (OS) as well as a variety of software applications. Technology advances rapidly, so before you know it you have to upgrade to a new OS in order to run new software applications, otherwise the computer will crash. This is exactly how motherhood works.
Before children, you operated from a specific set of values and beliefs (your OS) and pursued certain life goals (your software applications). You found confidence, importance and significance because new goals were handled by your OS with ease. Then one day, you added a radically new software application (children) and this required a major upgrade to your OS. But, you got busy and forgot to upgrade, so today you're running on a patched up OS that's often buggy and experiences full-system crashes periodically.
Sound familiar? If so, take the time to upgrade your OS by reevaluating your values and beliefs, and then align those with your life's goals. Once you complete your upgrade you'll find greater ease and confidence answering the question, "What do you do?"