The foundation of my career started as a mom.
I am going to skip a long story that I’m not ready to share yet, maybe someday in another space.
The short story is that I was pregnant during my senior year of college. It may seem strange but there was a tragedy on our campus that really affected me because I lived in the same dorm. Basically, a baby was found in a duffel bag in a dumpster outside of my dorm. There were news crews surrounding our dorm and it was a big story. I felt so sad imagining what someone had done who lived where I lived, even though it was a different floor. I couldn’t really deal with it. It broke my heart.
With the impact of that, it doesn’t surprise me that I later had a baby as a college student. From the very start of finding out I was pregnant; I was very happy and loved my baby so much. I knew that I would do whatever I could to take care of my baby. I was also determined to finish my degree, to give her a better life.
I was lucky that my baby girl was born two weeks early, which ended up being between college semesters during winter break. It gave me enough time to recover from an emergency c-section and get right back to finish my last semester which was a student teaching rotation in a high school library and an elementary school library. Two weeks after having her, I was back in college (there was no maternity leave for me). It was an emotional time, and I cried every day because all I wanted to do was to be with my new baby. But I knew deep down that I couldn’t give up because I had to finish college, no matter how hard it was to go back, I had to do it for her. Having a baby so young gave me a super power that I never tapped into before. I felt like I was more determined than I ever had been in my entire life. I am proud that I still graduated in 4 years and on schedule even while having a baby, not even a semester longer and I was able to maintain my scholarship. It truly is a miracle that it all worked out for me. I remember not having much money to take care of my baby and it was a struggle to worry about finding the resources for a couple months to get by before I could find a job after graduation and make ends meet. I remember that I went to the school financial aid office to ask for more money but there was nothing more they could do. It was scary not knowing how we were going to get through each week, I had to cut back on anything extra. Luckily, I still had several supportive friends who were still there for me and made that time better, my cross-country team even threw me a baby shower and purchased gifts even though I was no longer running. I loved when friends would come by and visit my baby. It was nice to see that she was loved already by so many, from the very start, I felt honored and blessed to be a mom to such a perfect and special baby. That was when I realized that babies don’t need a lot. They just need at least one person who really loves them and would do anything for them and that is what I did and what I continue to do. When I am asked to give advice to new mothers, it sounds simple but that is what I tell them. The baby only needs your love. They can do without a lot of things that you are told they need. They won’t remember if they had the latest bouncer or baby swing or if you didn’t have the perfect nursery or crib. We get caught up in all that and I have as an older mom now but in some ways I am making up for what I didn’t have back then.
Now when I think about my career as a librarian, there is one thing that is constant in my career and that is being a career mom. For this purpose, I am defining a career mom as a mom who has been a mom for her entire career and never had any aspect of knowing a career without being a mom. Being a career mom is a very different thing than having already established a place in the field or in ones career before embarking on motherhood. I think there is a unique set of challenges when starting out a career as a mom but it is also a strength. When you have someone else relying on you, you find ways to make things work and being resourceful is a must. There’s also not a lot of time wasted during the day because you just don’t have a ton of it. While I know I had adversity along the way, I wouldn’t have accomplished what I have if I weren’t a mom from the start of my career. Going into survival mode to take care of someone is a different motivational factor altogether than just the desire to do well. I had to have a bit of fight in me to keep going.
Thanks for reading Post 4!
Are you a career mom and a librarian? I’d love to hear from you. Send me a message.