Can You Be a Good Mother Without Neglecting Your Professional Growth?

Being a good mother doesn't mean taking care of your children full-time, much less giving up on your personal and professional growth.
Can You Be a Good Mother Without Neglecting Your Professional Growth?

Last update: 06 December, 2022

Some people think that being a good mother and a good professional at the same time is an impossible ideal. Therefore, they think that it’s unacceptable to be successful in both aspects at the same time and understand that once they become mothers, professional growth is suspended until further notice. For this reason, there are women who choose to postpone motherhood as long as possible or simply not go through it for fear of losing ground in the professional area.

At the same time, there are those who believe that having a child does not mean neglecting oneself as a professional and that both fields can be sustained victoriously. However, many people who become mothers in the midst of their professional development face the typical question: is it possible to be a good mother without neglecting their work?

Being a good mother and developing professionally, two forms of self-demand

It’s obvious that becoming a mother implies making a quantum leap that’s difficult to avoid. Having a child will most likely make your life take a 180-degree turn. For, now there’s a child who depends largely on you. It’s then when all the fears, insecurities, and personal, but also cultural demands flourish.

Although it’s true that the conception that society has of the role of mothers has changed in recent years, a series of myths related to motherhood is still in force today. Unfortunately, these function as indices that measure the degree of effectiveness with respect to the objectives and goals that people should meet in order to classify themselves as good or bad mothers.

A mother trying to work from home while caring for her baby.
In the same way that motherhood involves a load of aspirations and expectations of oneself or others, professional development also involves certain pressures.

It’s a myth that motherhood impedes professional growth

Motherhood is often perceived as an obstacle when it comes to achieving professional success. This is because having a child is associated with reduced freedom and a lack of control over one’s personal life plan.

However, this belief is being challenged at the discursive and attitudinal levels. Today, many women return to work shortly after childbirth with complete pride in themselves. Moreover, far from disrupting job growth, becoming a mother can boost motivation in all aspects of life.

In any case, while motherhood need not be a barrier on the professional front, it may imply the need for a reorganization of priorities. In other words, the balance between motherhood and career depends exclusively on the decisions that each person makes. Under no circumstances should they be determined by external criteria. In this regard, no one but you can classify yourself as a good or bad mother and as a good or bad professional.

You can be a good mother and a good professional if you evaluate yourself from your own point of view

The relevance of the maternal role in raising a child is undeniable. However, the belief that a mother has to be with her child full-time is one of the many social mandates that hover over the subject.

After all, it’s a matter of detaching yourself from the cultural demands that indicate how to be a mother, a woman, a professional, or a person. At the same time, you must listen to yourself and try to respond to your needs and desires. Do you want to devote yourself exclusively to parenting? Would you prefer to complement motherhood with your professional career? Both are fine.

In the latter case, in addition to organizing yourself, it’s important to prioritize quality time over the quantity of time shared with your child. This is essential in order to reduce the feeling of guilt when going out to work or study.

A mother sitting on the floor playing with your young son.
Rather than spending as much time as possible with your child, it’s more important that those moments are of quality for the child.

Being a good mother without neglecting professional growth is possible

Whatever a woman does, she’ll have to face demands that are still in force that are totally contradictory: If she dedicates herself exclusively to household chores or childcare, a portion of society will label her as unproductive or submissive. On the other hand, if she chooses to complement motherhood with her professional career, more than a few will label her as a bad mother because of the associated myths.

In this regard, being a good mother without neglecting professional growth will be possible to the extent that each woman is able to question her own beliefs and break down the prejudices that are within us, even if we’re not truly aware of them.

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  • Solé., C y Parrella, S. (2004). “«Nuevas» expresiones de la maternidad. Las madres con carreras profesionales «exitosas»”. Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. RES nº 4 (2004) pp. 67-92.
  • Vázquez, E. (2000). “Demografía y cambios culturales”. En VV.AA. Las Representaciones de la Maternidad, Madrid, UAM.

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