Success and Motherhood.
Updated: Sep 15
Success in the dictionary can be defined as such; a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity, the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, the attainment of popularity or profit.
If you were to ask yourself how you define your success what would that be? Is it how many Instagram followers you have, is it how much money you've made in your career or the position of it? Did you find a beautiful wife, or marry a rich man? Are you a parent, and you rate your success on how you've raised your children? These are all definitely questions I've asked myself and I've had to give each one, and all the ones I didn't mention, a priority in my life.
If you were to Google what is success right now, you get a bunch of hoopla about financial success and work success. How to reach the goal of your dream job and financial attainment. Those seem like obvious common measures in the scale of success, but as a young parent with grandiose dreams, I had to redefine what success meant to me.
One of my mentors once told me you have to be willing to put in the work and time no one wants to give, to live the life everyone wants to have. For a long time, I thought that meant specifically putting in long hours and sacrificing time to make the money that I thought would make me happy. I will be 33 this year and my daughter will be 12. Being a single mom meant I had to work extra hard because I needed to find the time to make sure that I was there for her, while also trying to create a sense of success in my career.
It's funny when you look back and think about how your dreams, and the ideas of how you thought you'd be successful, have changed. I'll make a long story short, I wanted to play professional soccer. I played the majority of my life and even dreamed of going to the Olympics. I had an injury in high school which caused me to feel like my dreams have been taken away from me. Out of high school, I worked and went to college for a year. I found out I was pregnant at 20, scared shittless with no clear career path, how was I going to be a successful parent if I felt like I wasn't successful in my life.
There is no book, real book, on parenting. You just take the Ebbs and Flows as it comes. With amazing family support, I got to stay home with her for the first year which I needed to feel successful in building a bond with her and being there for all of those first's. I went to cosmetology school after she was a year and started in the hair industry after always having a passion for it. I thought okay I can put the time and work in to get myself to a point where I feel like I am able to provide the life I want her to have. After a few years of working and realizing I was putting my success in my career, where was that leaving my success as a parent? I was commuting an hour each way to my first Salon job in Orange County. After doing that for five years I realized I was not having a healthy and successful work-life balance. I know I've said success a lot in this post because I had to learn to rethink what I measured success as. For a while, I thought it was moving up in my business and earning more money, but I didn't want to be a parent that bought my child's affection. I have made unsuccessful, and successful, career moves to now be in a position where I have my own business and can manage my own schedule. I can be there for her school plays, her music concerts, her after school sports. It was definitely a struggle and at first, I thought I couldn't do it, but it's important to remind yourself daily that you are already successful for getting out of bed every morning.
We as people can tend to be so hard on ourselves and others by placing our value of success upon them. Someone could very easily look at me and think that I am not but that successful compared to them or their ideas of what that means. But why do I care? I feel successful in my life. I feel successful as a parent because my daughter is smart, funny, witty, and beautiful. She isn't afraid to give me a hug and a kiss in the morning when I drop her off at school, and she still wants me every night to tuck her into bed. I'm not saying I'm a perfect parent by any means and a lot of the time she makes me want to do things that I won't say, but she knows no matter what I'm here for her and want her to be the best person she can be.
Success can mean anything you want it to mean. You are as successful as you believe you are. Nobody can tell you what your success is and how to measure it. Prioritize the important things in your life, and strive to create a balance between them.