How I found myself after becoming a mom by going back to work

Joanna Fowler May 2, 2017 Blog, Family, Parenting, Self

This post was created in partnership with Kids & Company.

mother reading to children

When I became a mother I felt lost.

After the dust had settled, my nipples healed and the excitement with round the clock visitors died down, I realized that my identity had been stripped away from me.

This was it, the end all, be all moment I had been fantasizing about since childhood… I was a mother.

First time mother

But then why was I filled with such resentment?

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my baby, and I really didn’t experience any postpartum depression with my first pregnancy in the very beginning, but something felt very off.

I was going to be a stay-at-home mom. That was it, end of story. Watching my own mother raise her four kids with such pleasure and fulfillment, I was sold.

Motherhood was my end game.

During my pregnancy I took my last train into the big city for my pretty amazing Interior Design job, and said goodbye to a traditional career.


But as weeks turned into months, and months turned into years, and one baby eventually turned into two, I increasingly felt myself fade away.

I was the shell of the person I once was. My days were filled with routines, caring for my children, while constantly watching the clock. What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I thriving?

mother of two

As time went by, I eventually realized that I didn’t love a lot of the stay-at-home mom activities some of my friends cherished. Guilt began to set in, and I felt like a fraud.

When year three rolled around, I started to get real with myself and admit that I was pretty deep into a depression. My husband would walk in the door from work at the end of the day and find me pacing the halls.

Something had to change.

It was time to face my biggest critic and re-evaluate my path, including what my life was going to look like and most importantly, who I was.

The truth was I had no idea who I was.

The me before kids had different priorities, friends, interests and values. As I looked at myself in the mirror, I didn’t recognize the person looking back. It was time to find out who that person was, despite how scary that process might be.

After a lot of thought I finally decided that I did want a career outside of my home, which then set off a new type of guilt. I felt guilty that motherhood wasn’t enough for me, and I felt like I was betraying myself and my kids by deciding to take a different path than the one I had so clearly thought I had wanted.

It took me a while as I worked through a bizarre grieving process of letting go of being a stay-at-home mom, and reframed the ideals of motherhood I had pictured in my head for so long.

I finally realized that my new path and sense of balance would ultimately make me a much happier mother and wife, and no less of a mom.

Happy mom

After going back to work, I felt a new sense of self emerge. I wasn’t the same person I was before having kids. I was a new and improved me; a stronger person, a person full of confidence and maturity who had faced their fears and reinvented who they were.

Now eight years, four kids and many career changes later, I am thriving, balancing family life and work life while running my own business.

at a conference

Although some days my house looks like a tornado went through it and my to-do list is impossibly long, I’ve never felt that sense emptiness again.


I definitely don’t do it all and it does take a village. I think the biggest factor of making your own work/life balance fit is finding the right childcare for your kids.

Finding a childcare that not only gives me time to build my career, but that my kids also love has been such a wonderful aspect to having more of a work/life balance. Kids & Company not only has the flexibility I have needed with my unique schedule, but the incredible fresh, from scratch meals they provide for my kids each day (which they actually eat), fills me with such confidence with my choice in childcare.

Kids and Company

With locations all across Canada, Kids & Company is a high-quality care and early development centre that parents can trust and kids will love. Beginning under the leadership of two moms, (one of whom has 8 children), who felt there was a lack of child care options that truly understood what parents wanted, like amazing teachers, flexible care options, a community, a nurturing environment, programs designed to develop children and support for other pursuits like work, volunteering and hobbies.

Kids and Company

Whether it’s their Grab ‘n’Go snacks, or their complimentary care for date nights and shopping days outside of regular hours, nothing has been forgotten.

Here’s where it gets exciting… right now Kids and Company is waiving the registration fee (a $150 value) for Nesting Story readers! Just email to access this exclusive offer.
One waved registration per family for a newly registering child before December 31, 2017. Subject to availability.

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kids & Company. While compensation was provided, all opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the opinions of Kids & Company.

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