I never thought it was possible to have it all… returning to work after my first child was different, my priorities had changed and I struggled to combine my career with my personal happiness and the vision I had of being a great mum. For years I was torn between the two, losing a real sense of who I was and what happiness looked like for me.  At the same time, I resented colleagues for their promotion and stay at home mums for always being there for their kids… It was eating me alive!!  

Always wondering if as women we really have to choose between happiness and career? 

For a long time, I had this one-sided vision of what a successful woman looks like…workaholic, assertive, respected, maybe a bit scary but definitely lonely…

But do we all have to be like Miranda Priestly from “The devil wears Prada” to be a successful woman?

And I suppose in my twenties it was fine to hold this vision as I was climbing the professional ladder… But when I became a mother, I started to feel an internal conflict between this vision I had of a successful woman and the mum I wanted to be… I couldn’t see how the two could be compatible and how I could achieve the happy life I was dreaming of…

According to a study conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2020, 70% of employed mothers in the UK reported feeling a conflict between their work and family responsibilities. This statistic sheds light on the struggle we are facing when trying to balance tour careers with our personal happiness and obligations as mothers. 

That is where coaching changed my life!  

I started to challenge these visions I had and rather than viewing Career and Happiness as opposing choices, I was opening myself to have a more holistic approach to life, and “having it all” became a possibility!

Because who is here to say that we cannot be happy at work or that we can have the right balance in our life that allows us to have a fulfilling career and a happy family life.

Ultimately, the decision on how we live our life is entirely ours.  It is about making conscious choices that honour the life that we want and allowing ourselves to create our own happiness.

“As you become more clear about who you really are, you will be better able to decide what is best for you, the first time around” – Oprah Winfrey

The question now is how ….  

First, it is important to acknowledge that it starts with us and our ability to understand ourselves and the way we think, feel and behave!

To start with, we all have a different definition of what happiness is and it is key for us to connect with our own definition, not the societal expectation.  We too often look for external factors such as possessions, or relationships. However, true and lasting happiness begins with self-awareness. You may have noticed in this article that I mix happiness with family because this is part of my definition of happiness!

But, what is yours?  

Because until you are clear on what happiness really means to you, you will let unconscious stories and beliefs drive your life away from your happiness.

And what is true for happiness is also true for a fulfilling career, a promotion to a job that is not aligned with you will not give you the satisfaction that we are looking for!

When we align our actions and choices with what is truly important for us, not the beliefs that we hold on ourselves, then we can experience a deeper sense of happiness and fulfilment.

So, to bring your life all together and create this feeling of happiness and fulfilment ask yourself, what is important to me? 

Only you can create your roadmap to your own happiness, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it on your own! Using my experience and coaching skills I have developed for you a three-step exercise to help you create your own personal road map to happiness!  

In conclusion, the notion of having to choose between career and happiness is a misconception that limits our potential. It’s time to break free from the belief that we must sacrifice one for the other. By gaining self-awareness, understanding our own definition of happiness, and aligning our choices with our true desires, we can create a harmonious blend of career fulfilment and personal happiness. Remember, the decision is yours to make, and you have the ability to live a life that brings you joy, purpose, and a sense of accomplishment in all areas. Embrace the journey, trust in your own choices, and let happiness be the guiding force in shaping your extraordinary life.

If you’re feeling inspired to embark on this journey of self-discovery and creating a life that brings you joy and fulfilment, I’m here to support you. As a coach, I specialise in empowering women to believe in themselves and make conscious, aligned choices that align with themselves. Through my unique therapeutic and evidence based coaching approach, we can explore deeper into your aspirations, overcome any obstacles, and develop a strong personalised roadmap to navigate your unique path towards a fulfilling career and a happy, meaningful life.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re ready to take the next step. I would be delighted to assist you on your journey towards creating the extraordinary life you deserve.

This article was written by Morgane Westley, one of Careering into Motherhood’s Partner Coaches. Morgane is ICF accredited coach, she helps overwhelmed working mums balance life, build self-confidence, and thrive personally and professionally without compromises. She offers free discovery calls for prospective clients.  To find out more, get in touch via her profile page.