Success is a word that has been so overused that it has become an objective in and of itself. It’s something we all aspire to experience, we want to be touched by it, and for many, it’s the reason we wake up every day with the drive to take on the world
But why is success such an enchanting idea?
Because being successful feels good – from striving to have it all and feeling accomplished at what you do, to having your hard work pay off.
We’ve been conditioned to believe that doing is more important than simply being, but maybe this ‘hard work’ isn’t really what success means at all?
This is the jolt many women feel as they transition into motherhood. They have been so used to the fast-moving pace of modern-day society where their days are filled with accomplishments, that after leaving the working world to care for their infant, they now feel flat…or dare I say it, that they no longer feel successful in the eyes of society.
How is Success Traditionally Measured?
From the very beginning of time, humans have been conditioned to see status in material wealth. We were given things like livestock and slaves as early forms of currency – ways for our tribes to show their net worth amongst each other.
As societies evolved, the way measuring one another’s value by changed in type of possessions but was still the same in its essence. This unhealthy dynamic has trickled down through generations until today – many people still basing their self-worth on what others perceive them to be rather than who they truly are at heart.
In today’s male-dominated culture, achievement is measured by the number of accomplishments a person has.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, success is defined as “The attainment of wealth, favor or eminence”. Nothing at all about who you are as a person.
By measuring success in this way, we are taught that it’s more important to do something rather than simply be who you are and live life outside all these social constructs. Many women feel this disconnect when they transition into motherhood because their days used to be filled with doing things for others – accomplishing tasks at work and achieving goals… whilst raising children takes away from the ‘doing’ aspect of our lives and mothers can no longer measure up against traditional socially constructed ideas about what defines success .
How does motherhood generally measure up to that definition?
Many mothers feel as though they no longer fit the definition of success because now their days are filled with simply being and nurturing – something that has been historically devalued in society. No longer bringing home a paycheque or contributing to the family income, often insinuates the work done by mothers is not valuable. Many mothers feel like they no longer fit the definition of success because traditionally, we’ve been conditioned by this disconnect.
Feeling devoid of the traditional markers of success, leaves mothers in search of other ways to fill this desire to feel worthy. This ingrained need for competition and to be better than others carries forward into motherhood and creates a toxic undertone for our interactions with others. Competitiveness in areas that can appear frivolous otherwise, tend to take centre stage as women yearn for the sense of being successful.
‘My baby walked at 9 months of age’…
‘Well, my baby achieved all their developmental milestones early’…
‘I woke up 8 times last night and look at all I’m doing on no sleep!’…
This reliance on external markers of success is taking away from the experience of motherhood and loving this stage of life. Is there really anyone that looks back on their 21st birthday and is proud of the fact they walked before their friends did?
So why do we continue measuring success based on what we do, vs just being?
If we continue measuring success in this way, then women will never truly be satisfied at any point in their lives.
What are Better Measures of Success in Motherhood?
When you think about it, many traditional measures of ‘success’ are short-term fixes focused on external validation rather than internal happiness – which ultimately leads nowhere long term. We need to stop seeing material markers as what matters and instead prioritise character traits (such as kindness) and how we feel at our core.
Being successful as a mother means you’re doing your best and making choices that are right for your family. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks – if other mothers judge you, they’re the ones who need to re-evaluate their own lives in order to feel better about how they measure up against others. You can only control yourself!
When we stop worrying about external validation of any kind (social media likes etc), then all this negativity will disappear from within our society. We’ll all simply focus on being happy with ourselves which is when truly great things start happening.
The most important thing isn’t whether or not someone has more than us, but rather understanding these material markers don’t matter in the long-term.
It’s about feeling content with who you are and what you’ve done – that is true success!
How to Embrace the Feminine Energy of ‘Being’ as a Mother
Feminine energy is about living more in the moment and enjoying life as it unfolds. It’s all about experiencing motherhood for what it truly gives to you – a sense of contentment that can’t be found anywhere else. (and if you’re not feeling that yet, don’t persist alone in silence – you can have this too with some support!)
It doesn’t matter if you’re working part-time, full-time or staying at home with your children because there are no rules when measuring success. Instead we should focus on being happy with who we are even if our lives don’t fit into any traditional molds of ‘success.’
What happened to being present with ourselves (or with our children)?
Simply sitting outdoors under a tree, feeling the cool breeze on our face on a summers day as we lie and watch the clouds whilst just breathing it all in around us? This is something which brings me joy!
There is so much power in simply being present in the moment and loving this life we have.
Without chasing external markers such as doing x amount of work per week or having material possessions, mothers will find true happiness from within their own hearts instead by simply embracing the power to BE!
In this space of being, we can start to love motherhood for all that it truly is and not what society has made us believe.
When mothers embrace their true selves, they can connect with other women in a much deeper way than ever before – creating an unbreakable bond between them instead of the competition we’ve seen among each other for so long. (helloooo to my love of Women’s Circles!)
The time you get up or go to bed doesn’t matter as there’s no such thing anymore when measuring success! The only important factor should come down to how people FEEL deep inside about themselves and how fulfilled they are by life itself.
Stop worrying about material possessions because your happiness won’t depend on having more than others (because this isn’t sustainable anyway).
To Sum It All Up…
By focusing on being happy with who you are, success at motherhood becomes much more about loving yourself and the role of motherhood for what it offers us rather than how society has measured up our roles in life.
When mothers stop worrying about whether they’re doing enough or measuring up to other people’s lives who seem ‘more successful’ because of material markers – we can instead embrace this time as a space where real happiness is found when embracing our true selves.
It comes down to feeling content within your soul and who you are at your core. It doesn’t matter if your life fits into any traditional molds of ‘success’ because happiness comes from being present in the moment no matter what kind of work you do or how many possessions you have.
The traditional definition of success is outdated and does not fit motherhood.
It devalues the role of a woman, creates feelings of failure as a mother, and falsely promotes competition amongst women. We should be redefining what it means to succeed in our own lives while embracing feminine energy, practising greater presence, and simply being who we are without judgement or self-criticism.
What will happen when mothers focus less on chasing external validation but love themselves unconditionally?
Motherhood will finally be transformed into something that brings happiness from within instead of what society has made us believe for so long.
This is when we can stop competing with each other and instead create a sisterhood built on true empathy, understanding and love – as opposed to false judgement based off of material markers or accomplishments from within patriarchal ideals which don’t fit motherhood!
How has this changed your thoughts on success?
Comment below xx