What About My Career Now That I'm a Mother?

I have a good friend who just had a baby and she's sick with panic over what to do about her career now that she's a new mother and maternity leave is closing. 

She has a great position at a prominent corporation that many women would die to work for, but she just can't see how she can leave her child in daycare and go back to work when maternity leave is over. 

My advice?

First, check in with your big, bad boss. No, not your employer boss. Your essential, stargazing, loving, beautiful, freedom-seeking soul boss. Close your eyes. Feel your feet on the earth and get grounded. 

Next, can you be okay not knowing the bigger picture and just taking it one step at the time? For example, imagine that you've got a flashlight and it's illuminating only 10 steps ahead. Can you take the 10 steps you can see right in front of you and wait for the flashlight to brighten the unseen path until you get a little further down the road? 

Now, let's get practical. Run your numbers. How much is daycare going to cost versus how much you will make at your job? Does it pencil out? How flexible is your work going to be when your child is sick and needs to be picked up from daycare (which can happen a lot!). Can you negotiate a flexible working schedule or work from home hours? 

Also, what kind of support can your spouse provide? Are they able to share child-rearing duties so that you both can get back to work?

Finally, do you want to go back to work? If not, can you live off your spouse's income alone? 

If you decide that quitting your job is the way to go, don't forget to set yourself up for later success when and if you re-enter the workforce by keeping your skills fresh, staying engaged with your network and maintaining knowledge of your industry. 

Ultimately, no one can tell you what to do and you'll have to make this decision on your own, but get clear about it. Clean out the limiting beliefs getting in your way and trust your inner wisdom to guide you the 10 steps you can see in front of you right now. 

What advice do you have for new mothers who are reconsidering their career?