Redefining Success In Motherhood | Darling Magazine

The following is a post on success and motherhood from one of our writers who is expecting her first child. We hope that regardless of your life stage, you’ll let her words sink in and allow yourself time and space to ponder what success really means to you.

In just a couple of short months, I’m about to get a new employer. One who is unrelenting in its demands, who needs the world to operate around her timetable, and who will probably not appreciate the extra hours I’ll be putting in.

I’m going to become a mom. And that new employer will be a tiny little bundle of screaming, cooing, messy adorableness.

To say I’m excited is an understatement. But as someone who has always been very ambitious and career driven, I’m also grappling with how this change will affect my day to day. In this career driven, women can have it all world, it’s a struggle many of us in this situation face.

Instead of changing someone’s life, we’ll have changed a dozen diapers.

Instead writing words that inspire and encourage hundreds, we’ll have washed and folded half a dozen loads of laundry full of soiled little clothes and burp cloths.

Rather than advance our platform, build our brand, or grow our business, we’ll have spent our time breastfeeding, bathing, and making faces and train sounds.

Will our day still have been a success? Will we still be a success?

In a world that measures influence by the number of Twitter followers you have, that rewards long hours at the office and applauds those able to separate themselves from the crowd through building new products, new business, and new ways of thinking, where is a new mom supposed to fit in?

Will we have changed the world by doing wood puzzles and playing with blocks?

Will we have made an innovate contribution by building a fort out of furniture and blankets?

Will reading the same picture books day after day earn us a place in history as a great artist?

In the eyes of the world, no.

But to our children, yes. We will have changed their worlds by sitting there hour after to teach them how to stretch their minds and expand their world. We’ll be a hero for the games we play and stories we tell. On any given day, we may not be doing anything of which the world will take note, but we will be changing and impacting this one life.

Isn’t that what success is really about? The impact we make in the lives of the people we interact with every day, the intangible contributions we make to our corner of the world through the way we live, the way we work, the way we create and love? Rather than numbers and reports, the real measure of success if how we have influenced those around us.

By learning to change the way we measure success, we live more in the present, embracing whatever this day brings as the place where we are called to have the greatest impact today. Whether that is speaking to thousands or playing peek-a-boo, it’s exactly where we need to be and we are to give it our very best.

Did I live today well? That is all any of us can ask of ourselves, whatever our season in life.

Photo by Amelia Lyon


  1. I am not a mother, but I am a nanny so I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying (and going to experience). After hours and hours of focusing so much attention on a little person who may not remember any single experience from that day, it is difficult to maintain the same sense of self-worth. Like you said though, you have to really change the measure for success (which happens with every major life shift) and see through a different lens… quality over quantity and love over likes. The world you build for your child will be more beautiful and loving than anything else you could create. I’m sure you’re going to be a great mom.

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