I always said I didn’t want to have a kid until I achieved my career goals. But being the overachiever I am, my career goals kept increasing day by day. To say I hadn’t accomplished anything by the time I got pregnant would be a lie, but we all have different expectations for what our career and life will look like at any given time.
At the age of 33, my name wasn’t in lights, I didn’t have a million followers, and I definitely didn’t have the amount of financial freedom I had hoped for. Oddly enough, though, the week before I found out I was pregnant, I decided to take a step back from performing because I wanted to discover who I was outside of music and where my voice was needed the most. So, when the pregnancy test turned up positive, I laughed because the timing couldn’t have been more coincidental.
Here I was, desperately needing a change in how my career was going and wanting to discover what my true purpose was, and little did I know that everything in my life was about to change. But not in the way some would think.
There’s a common misconception that when you have a child, your whole world stops, and everything becomes about your child. Granted, my child is my best friend and whole world, but nothing about her entrance into this world impeded my ambition in any way. People assume that when you add the title of mother to your resume it either shifts your career and professional identity or it obliterates it all together. There’s an assumption that all the parts of you that made up your identity up to that point are now overshadowed by the new identity of being called Mom. Yet being a mom was never the end-all-be-all for me.
And there is no disrespect to women who do become full-time moms. It’s a hell of a job and moms are real life superheroes. But being a mom is what fuels me to have more ambition and drive. It fuels me to work harder because I now have a tiny human who is looking up to me that I have to take care of, a tiny human whose entire existence and navigation through the world will mirror my own trajectory whether she realizes it or not. Just as I have patterned my mom’s ambition and drive in so many ways, I fully know my daughter will pattern mine.
It’s easy to assume that something as life changing as having a child would cause you to rethink the path that you’ve been on. But why is the assumption always negative?
Why is the assumption that you’ve lost something or that things may have changed for the worse? Has my career shifted? Absolutely! Is it solely because I’m a mom? No! Is it because being a mom means I want to make sure I’m doing the absolute best for my daughter and giving her everything I possibly can? YES. I’m a firm believer in chasing your dreams, but how can you teach someone to achieve their dreams if you aren’t working endlessly to achieve your own?
Career shifts happen for the better and sometimes our life trajectories adjust in order to lay a stronger foundation for our children. Giving birth to my daughter made me realize where my voice was needed. It made me realize what I didn’t want to give my time to anymore, and who I didn’t want to give time to anymore. It made me realize that time is limited, and life is short.
I have always been a hard worker, but the assumption that working moms somehow lose part of themselves once they have given birth is wrong. If anything, I have gained new perspectives, new ways of thinking, and new ideas on how to balance work and be productive and create a life for myself and my family that is everything we have ever wanted.
Sometimes becoming a mom allows you to see where you haven’t been taking risks and that now is the time to do so. If you want big rewards you have to take big risks and I’m grateful that motherhood taught me that.
Written by guest contributor Malynda Hale
About the author:
Malynda is a multi-faceted talent as an actress, singer/songwriter, director, podcast host, activist, and mom based in Los Angeles. She has utilized her voice and social media presence to effect change with social justice, female empowerment, LGBTQ+ rights, veganism, and the Black Lives Matter movement. She won “Best Female Vocalist” at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, Best Pop Music Video at the Indie Music Channel Awards.
*All photos provided by Malynda Hale