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Struggling with career choices

Community Member

I'm not sure if this is the right forum but here goes.

Ever since I became a mum 6 years ago, my passion for my career has changed. I returned to work part time between kids, but I felt like life was similar to that early scene in 'Shaun of the Dead' - just going through the motions of life in autopilot, like zombies.

Ita sad and disappointing as I used to hold such passion and drive for my career. I am qualified/experienced in social work so I used to want to help people! I wanted to improve their quality of life, I was always striving to be an amazing person who made changes to other's lives.

Now I'm a busy mum of 3 and I don't think I'm depressed. I enjoy my kids and my life generally. However I have lost my purpose outside of being 'mum'. The thought of returning to the field I worked in, just makes me feel numb. What is wrong with me?!!!

Is this a sign that I need a career change? Is this normal after having a family?

2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi kned

I must say, you sound like a naturally caring person who naturally loves raising people. We need more beautiful people like you in this world.

Was wondering about a handful of things:

  • Do you still have a similar passion for the job but it's more so the fact the energy's just not there like it was before? If so, perhaps it's a matter of looking into have some bloods done in the way of b12, iron etc. Looking into a variety of ways to gain more energy could be another thing worth investigating. As a mum myself, I know we tend to invest a lot of energy in our kids, which can at times leave us feeling a little exhausted in a number of ways
  • I can imagine you've learned a lot about life through your job and personal experience. Have you ever considered writing a book, helping folk on a much larger scale?
  • At any stage, have you thought about a specific aspect of social work that interested you, that perhaps involves further investigation and maybe further study?
  • Does your local community need a star? Perhaps there are a number of social aspects that need addressing but no one seems to be looking out for the best interest of others, ways to support and empower them.

By the way, one of the amazing things I've discovered about my kids is that whilst they may prove a little energy zapping at times (they'd say the same about me) they can also be masters at raising me. Our kids have the ability to help us remember our most natural self, when parts of us have become dismembered over time. You know those parts of us we started off with in life - the adventurer, the seeker of excitement, the open minded non judgemental soul and the natural born questioner of just about everything. If I was asked to define 'Mum', I'd define it as 'She who faces the role of raising others whilst accepting their role of raising her to challenge and remembering'.

I know it may sound a bit odd but is it possible this period is about taking time off work to remember and explore parts of yourself that you've maybe forgotten about? I know, easier said than done if you need the extra income. Is it possible that this is a time where you explore and invest in raising yourself in a myriad of new ways? Is it a time of experimentation? How would it be returning to work as a whole new person?

It's funny, whilst kids can be simply written off by society as being 'kids' and mums can be written off as being 'mums', both face the challenges that come with redefining themselves as so much more.


Community Member

Thanks so much for your reply!

In answer to your questions, I'm currently unemployed but have been keeping an eye on the job boards. Every role that comes up, just doesn't excite me anymore. I've considered a redirection (within the same field) but nothing jumps out. I guess I just want a job that I can leave at work. I don't have the energy to bring emotional cases home with me anymore. At the same time, I'm wanting to return to work in the near future. I miss working, the income, feeling important and needed in other ways than just within my family.

I sort of feel like I need a fresh start but I don't know what else to do.

I do like your idea of using this time to explore parts of me that I may have forgotten about. I have been thinking about this option, but just don't know where to start and what direction to go in. Right now I just feel stuck in mum mode!