If you were giving a commencement speech, what's one piece of advice you'd give to young women who want to include motherhood in their futures?

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25  Answers

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Motherhood is not an either/or situation. You don't have to be either a mother or a professional, either a mother or a follower of your passion, either a mother or yourself. You can be a mother AND all of these things, for motherhood is a job that coexists with every other aspect of your life from the moment you hear your baby's heartbeat for the first time. It is not always a peaceful coexistence, but it is almost always one that helps put everything in perspective. It is a forgiving job and one that allows you endless opportunities to get it right. It is the only job from which you can not be fired. Yet it is also the only job you can never quit, even though there are days when you will want to. It is the hardest and the easiest thing you will ever do with your life all at once. And the fruits of this labor will dwarf all other accomplishments you ever achieve; but their mere presence will also make all those other accomplishments that much sweeter, knowing your greatest achievements in life are proud that you are their mother.

Oh, and you may as well accept that the chances you will end up with a minivan are pretty good. It's really not that bad.

http://areyoufinishedyet.wordpress.com/2013/03/13/my-minivan-isnt-cool-but-my-music-video-is/

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As you enter the theme park called Parenthood, leave all preconceived notions and expectations at the gate.

Fasten your seatbelt and brace yourself for the ride of your life. The ups are so HIGH, you'll get to high-five God and the lows will have you kissing the ocean floor.

Be prepared.

Anything that can and will happen.

http://extrememom.net/

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No matter what your career aspirations, motherhood changes your priorities. It adds a world of new considerations to every decision you make, from when to take a shower to how to invest your money. Every "yes" to one thing is "no" to an infinite number of other things, and nothing makes you more painfully aware of this than motherhood.

Saying yes to a business trip means saying no to your child when they beg you to stay. Saying yes to volunteering in your child's class means saying no to taking that new project. Saying yes to motherhood means saying no to racing to the top of the corporate ladder. You can still get there, but not at the same pace and probably not by the same route.

But. Motherhood teaches the mother more than it teaches the child. You will learn creative problem solving. You will develop more empathy for colleagues who are juggling work and family. You will experience the joy of watching (and helping) a baby develop into a thinking, creating, amazing human being.

This responsibility for another human being, one who is utterly dependent on you, changes all of us. Children slow us down, but they also help us see the world again for the first time. Children take us down rabbit trails we would never notice on our own. They stretch us, exasperate us, thrill us, and exhaust us. They sicken us with their flatulence and confront us with our impotence (you have never felt so useless as when you try to get a child to eat their vegetables, pee in a toilet, do their homework, or mow the lawn). They make us laugh with their impeccable recitations of movie one-liners.

Motherhood will take you on a career detour, but it can be an enriching detour if you let it.

http://joyinthisjourney.com/2013/01/playing-super-mario-brothers-is-not-wasting-time/#more-2516

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Well said. Having to balance the work at home with the work world can sometimes get precarious. sometimes the best balance is to focus on one at a time.

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There are so many things I'd want to say, but here are the ones that stand out as the most important:

1. This too shall pass. Sometimes what you are going through right now seems like it will last forever, but it won't. It will get better.

2. You can have it all....just not all at once. You can't be the best at everything all the time. Don't expect to be. Figure out what is important to you right now and make it a priority. Your priorities will change. Don't be afraid of the changes. Embrace them.

3. Trust your instincts. Whether it's as a mom or in life, if your gut says, "yes," go with it. If your gut says, "no," go with it. Sometimes you won't know why, but it will become clear later.

4. Have fun! Life is way too short to worry about everything.

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Being a mother will change everything you thought you knew about yourself and the world around you. To the young mothers out there that are thinking of having a baby, please enjoy your freedom first and enjoy some(or all) of your 20's to do what you want to do! Once you see those two pink lines, your life will be dedicated to that baby forever, and though it can be hard at times you will know true love in its purest form and get to enjoy life all anew through the eyes of your child. It is a wonderful thing, if you are ready to take care of another life 100%

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First, to the boys: It takes two to tango, and while this culture seems to absolve the fathers from any and all responsibility of a child outside of money, the reality is too many deadbeat dads infest this world with their irresponsible uselessness. Children, our future, need their father's love and advice. Don't be with a woman you wouldn't mother. Do you know if your lover is pro-life or pro-choice? If you can't answer that question, you are already being irresponsible. If you don't think you ever want to have children, do us all a favor and get a vasectomy.

To the ladies: If you are not ready for children, be responsible. Boys will sell it like it's a used car with deceit and persistence. God gave them two heads, and nine times out of ten, you are talking to the one behind the zipper. Don't trust a man until you know the man enough to tell which head you are talking to. You wouldn't buy a car without a contract would you? Marriage is that contract. Lock them into that deal before pushing out their spawn.

Babies. A precious miracle. A gooey, sticky, time consuming, attention seeking miracle. Basic Military Training kind of prepared me for it… I had 3 minutes at a time to eat and had to run on 3 hours sleep, 3 to 5 miles a day, over 100 pushups and situps, and then beyond fatigued and starved, had to sit caffeine deprived in training, clean, problem solve and speak coherently, with someone screaming in my face. It was easier than motherhood because there was an end.

When you do become a mom, your intuition trumps all. Listen to it. Trust it. Right now? Take care of yourself. Use this time now to build confidence, trust your inner voice, find your inner peace, take vitamins, and enjoy your bubble bath. Don't take that bubble bath for granted. Someday, you won't have it.

http://www.dribblesngrits.com/2013/05/parental-advice-warning-to-young-and.html

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This thing connected to the wrong account when I first answered. So I deleted, deactivated, and reposted. If you saw it before under a different name, that is still me. I just don't want my inlaws and some family and friends to know where my blog is.

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Go as far as you can with your education before you become a mom. The same goes for turning your professional dreams into a reality. In this way, if and when you do become a parent, you will be show your sons and your daughters what a well-educated, focused and hard-working woman can accomplish.

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Stay flexible. Have goals for possible career, but always put kids first. Think outside the box! There are so many options now for work at home moms. Don't resent the kids if you have to put your dream on hold for a little while. Team up with other moms and celebrate a community of like-mindedness and create lasting friendships and a support network.

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The best piece of advice I can give is this: Plan for motherhood the way you plan for your career. Don't be afraid to seek success professionally AND personally. Women today (and in the past) are encouraged to focus on career only and then it is too late to start a family. You CAN have it all ladies!

http://www.mysocalledsensorylife.com/?p=5491

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Do not compare yourself with any other mother. Do what works for your family. Eliminate all "One-Uppers" from your circle of friends. Take one day at a time and love those babies!

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Don't wait. Life passes by so quickly. When you reach for those corporate rungs to climb the heights of your career, don't leave behind the moments of time. Take in every season of your time with your child when you begin your mothering career. You will enjoy it to the fullest. You will have time to do it all! Don't worry about what will be, look at the now and savor it. Time does not stand still for anyone, although we do want it to, so go ahead and take the plunge.

http://graceful-homesteading.blogspot.com/2011/08/thoughts-on-seasons-of-life_5533.html

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Do what you want to do for YOU before you have kids, be it travel, education, shopping. :) When the kids come it is all about them, not you. If you've had a few fun years for yourself you will be more ready to embrace the selfLESSness that is motherhood. :)

http://murphymusthavehadkids.com/

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Growing up, I was drowned under the imagery of saint like mothers, caring and soft spoken. Soon after I became a mom, I realized that moms are more like war commandants: developing military tactics to manage tantrums, feeding and sleeping routines, leveraging all resources they have (nanny, family, savings, wine etc.) to win all the battles (career, motherhood, love), yelling marching orders, being stuck in their trenches previously known as their apartment with sleep deprivation, wearing combat clothing namely sweatpants and nursing tops and they also get battle scars from being scratched and punched by their tots.

Don't cry. This is good. Yes, you won't be a saint like person but you are better. Because whenever you think you royally screwed it up and that you are losing the fight, someone in the motherland thinks you are a hero.

And like a commandant, wear proudly your physical and emotional scars and let an army carry you. There is no war worth fighting for on your own.

http://redlipstickmama.com

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Where do you think saints come from? They weren't born that way, they persevered through the battle. That person who continues to strive to become "better" is the one who is striving to become the saint.

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There is a thing known as "mommy guilt", it is normal and will consume you at one point or another. But know, you are a wonderful mom. And that others' opinions, are just that theirs. Believe in yourself, and know you are making the right choices for you and your family. And allow them to make their own. You are a perfect mom the way you are!

http://blog.beautifulmommyclub.com/2013/05/choosing-to-formula-feed/

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Keep your eyes and ears open to everything you see, do and experience in the world during this time. All the places you visit, all that you learn, and all that inspires you will shape the way that you mother your children and the way your children view the world. Practice listening and being present now, because there is no greater gift you can give than to really listen and be present for your child. Live your life - travel, learn, love, and enjoy life - take time for yourself now, follow your dreams NOW, so you can be free to help your children follow their dreams once that day comes.

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If you're a control freak, working mom might not be the best option for you unless you want to have a miserable spouse, kids, and well... self. Being an educated, career-minded woman is an amazing thing! Being a loving, caring mother is also an amazing thing. Be prepared to lose a little control though, if the twain shall meet. I don't mean to scare you, it's not a bad thing. You just definitely need to learn to roll with the punches and change on the fly.

Bottom line... go with your gut. If you want to try to be a working mom, go for it. If you decide you want to be a stay at home mom, go for it. Don't shy away from staying at home because you think it will hurt your career, unless of course that is what's really important to you. I stayed at home and couldn't get a decent job for a while after I re-entered the workplace. Yea, that sucked but I eventually bounced back. However, I have three wonderfully smart children that I got to spend a lot of time with and mold into successful people. Life will unfold as it's intended, just keep your eyes, ears, and heart open along the way.

http://madgemadigan.com/2012/09/11/yes-i-suck-but-parenting-is-not-a-competitive-sport/

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I would say that it will change your life forever and to say goodbye to that person you used to be. And do it with a smile on your face because the rest of your life is going to be one exciting and interesting adventure and you will never want to turn back.

Embrace the change that comes with motherhood and adapt yourself to your surroundings and your new responsibilities and have FUN doing it!

Also another thing to remember is that things don't always go according to plan - I wanted a natural birth but had to have a Cesarean - some woman plan to breastfeed but end up not being able to etc etc - don't set yourself up for dissapointment and take it as it comes. Things will work out as they are supposed to. Don't let go of having faith in the future.

Love and peace

Doné
http://momziediary.blogspot.com
Facebook page: Mommy Diaries

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One piece of advice I would share with young women who hope to include motherhood in their futures would be to try to remember that they and their children will be more resilient than they imagine. Becoming a mom carries along with it all kinds of anxiety baggage, starting with whether or not to breast-feed to how to get a baby to sleep through the night to whether or not to hold a child with a late summer birthday back or push him or her ahead in school. A mother can become entangled in the snares of overanalyzing every decision, large and small, and imagining that each new step will carry grave repercussions in its wake. All of this worrying can end up paralyzing parents and children. Trying to grasp ahold of the idea that children are actually quite strong, physically and emotionally, and that they usually rebound from setbacks fairly well, can help parents feel more at ease in their new role.

Sincerely,
Courtenay Harris Bond
http://courtenayharrisbond.blogspot.com/
courtenayharrisbond@gmail.com

http://http://courtenayharrisbond.blogspot.com/2013/03/nosedive.html

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Be prepared to be unprepared! Motherhood is an intense ride and everything you expect to be and do as a mother may change after you have kids. Give yourself grace to grow into your role and don't expect to be the perfect mother the minute you give birth or adopt. Love your kids more than life itself, and you will be a wonderful mother!

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My number one advice is: you get out of being a mom what you put in. Just like with all things, you put in quality time, energy, and love, and you will receive huge rewards for the effort. Motherhood has been my greatest blessing, and can be yours too if you are willing to do the work. It won't be easy. It won't be exciting. Believe me, it isn't all fun either. You will not be disappointed though, because you knew it wouldn't be easy before your little bundle of joy was laid in your arms. At that moment, you will know that you will do anything for her because she (in my case) is and will be worth every second, tear, and laugh!

http://iamonly1woman.blogspot.com

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Don't pile up a load of debt! Work hard through school and make sure you get a degree in something that can help you make money from home. No matter how much you love working, when you see your little baby in your arms you won't want to leave them with a stranger.

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