What is your life’s purpose? This is such a huge question, and for most people almost impossible to answer! As human beings we are so multi-faceted, it is difficult to define our purpose to ‘that one thing’ we were sent here to do. And what about motherhood? Many working mothers feel a big sense of purpose as a mum, but it’s not their only purpose either.

It can be helpful to think about purpose in terms of both:

BIG purpose:


making a difference on a big scale, on topics we care about intensely, for example climate change or social issues. You might see this as a calling, something that defines your life.

Although some people see this very clearly, it can be hard to get a sense of this every day.

SMALL purpose:


making a tangible contribution, that you can see or feel connected to. For example, being a good team leader, achieving something that is challenging or important in the workplace, or simply being there for my child.

Small purpose might also be described as being valued led; knowing what we should focus on to have the life we want.

We can have lots of small purposes that are important to us and drive our behaviour. Identifying purpose in everyday tasks, rather than trying to find the ‘ultimate purpose’ of our lives, can help to connect meaning to our day-to-day activities. This can also help manage those moments when we feel torn between different priorities, which can feel all too common as a working parent.

Evidence shows that when we are act in ways that are congruent with what’s important to us, we also live happier and more fulfilled lives. We respond less to the stresses and emotions of the moment and make choices that are aligned to what’s really important.

Rather than searching for that elusive, defining ‘purpose statement’, why not start by identifying your ‘small purpose’ here.


Download your Identifying Purpose Tool.  

This article was written by Cat Tatbuck, one of Careering into Motherhood’s Partner Coaches.

Cat is a Business Psychologist and Executive Coach. Her purpose is being a mum to her energetic two-year-old and helping mothers to build fulfilling, confident careers that work with their home life.

Photo by Michael Heuser on Unsplash.