Having an Identity Crisis After Becoming a Mom? Read This.
At Mitera, we believe there are so many shades of gray between ambition and motherhood and the two extremes of being either a working mother or a stay-at-home mother is fading away. As #MiteraMoms, we probably all fall somewhere in between and navigating the journey of figuring out how much to lean into motherhood vs. pursuing our dreams and careers can be confusing, isolating, guilt-ridden and scary. Here, a #MiteraMom, an author of a new book Going Beyond Mom, wellness expert, and the founder of Beyond Mom, Randi Zinn offers her insights into and guidance for how we can navigate that tricky journey and how to reconnect with the woman inside of the mom after the baby is born.
1. Can you tell us about your book, “Going Beyond Mom”? What inspired you to write this book?
This book is really and truly my third baby, though I started working on it before my second baby was even conceived! It’s a guidebook for a time that gets very little attention. Women are unprepared for the shift that occurs when they become moms, for the fact that they struggle to get back to a sense of self after baby is born. Often a woman discovers that she feels a very different sense of who she is and that change can feel shocking. I took my experiences as a yoga instructor, a company CEO, and of course, as a mom twice and intertwined it with all the wisdom I’ve learned as the founder of Beyond Mom and offered a step by step journey to reconnect with the woman inside of the mom. We must target the layers of who we are: body, mind, community, and how we even handle change, and rebuild ourselves one part at a time….from this place and after that work is done, we have a better sense of who we are and what we need.
And just to give even more validation as to why this process feels so hard: our culture doesn’t place value on a woman taking time and space to discover her own unique needs. Value is placed on serving the family first. And while that’s important too, women and especially mothers take the brunt of this cultural reality- we are often burnt out, exhausted and unclear what will make us ultimately fulfilled. This book is a roadmap to create this reality for yourself.
2. We want to ask you same question that you asked many successful moms in your book. “What are the parts of you that have grown and expanded since becoming a mom?”
My confidence in myself has grown. I didn’t know what I could handle physically and mentally until I had two passionate, spirited children. My heart has also grown! Besides the love I feel for my children, I feel a connection to other women who are navigating the many highs and lows of personal growth and change.
3. What is your message to Mitera moms who want to follow their dreams but also feel conflicted about missing out at home?
To take quiet, personal space. To meditate. To listen in. We spend a lot of time reading the stories of other people, seeing the images of how other women do it, of learning the statistics of how happy our kids will be if we are home vs. if we are working and modeling a woman going for her dreams. None of that actually matters. What matters is what dynamic allows the most powerful, positive and visionary version of you to show up as her individual self and a present, happy mother to love her children. When you listen in, you will hear the answers. You will understand what feels right for you.
4. What changes did you have to make in your career/personal life to adjust to motherhood?
As Beyond Mom has grown, I’ve accepted that I need help to get my life organized the way I need it. I need help with my kids, I need help with my home. I understand that I work best when my home environment and my family feels nurtured and taken care of. I no longer pretend I can do this whole thing alone.
5. At Mitera, we believe there are so many shades of grey between ambition and motherhood and the two extremes of being either a working mother or a stay-at-home mother is fading away. Based on your experience, what do you see motherhood looking like these days for ambitious women who want to lean into motherhood after having kids?
Just as you said, I see less “title” and more variety in how women are shaping their professional and personal lives. Many women are leaning toward entrepreneurship as a path toward flexibility or seeking corporate positions that respect and even promote flexibility. We have a long way to go, but it's nice to see women more able to redefine how she gets it done. I’m hoping that with these changes also comes the ability to redefine ones self-care priorities so that a woman isn’t just focusing on work or family….that her time spent cultivating SELF allows her to be her most productive and fulfilled self in all these categories.
Randi Zinn is an author, mindfulness and wellness expert, and founder of Beyond Mom. Born from her own experience of motherhood, Beyond Mom is harnessing a movement of women who are taking back their right to self-love, self-care and community as a pathway to fulfillment. Randi encourages moms to cultivate a life “Beyond Mom”- one that embraces the gifts of motherhood but expresses all that they are as individuals. She is a mama of two curious kids and lives in New York City. You can follow her journey on her blog here and Instagram here.