Unfiltered: The Identity Shift from Career-Focused Entrepreneur to Mom

Jenna Kutcher 

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April 20, 2022


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Um… did you know that I used to say I wasn’t going to have kids? Before I inadvertently write 10k words on the whole story here (I already did this in my book!) I decided I wanted to *talk* with you about it. Will you join me for a chat?

My podcast producer, Kylie, is helping me walk through the process of how I went from hiding my true desires (and fear) or parenthood behind a thin career veil… to finally allowing those desires to bleed through. 

Now, I know this is definitely not everyone’s roadmap, but I do think it’s easy to want something bad enough that we try and teach ourselves to not want it— maybe even to despise it —  just so we don’t get hurt. I hid a part of me behind my career, and turns out you can’t hide from yourself for long! And for that, I am so, SO grateful. Can’t wait to share more about these life lessons with you.

Motherhood Fears

I carried so many fears around motherhood for so long. We were married seven years before we had our first daughter, Coco, and, um, we were married five years before we even considered or entertained the thought of starting a family. 

Obviously it took three years and two miscarriages to get Coco, and so I had a lot of time to kind of wrap my head around that identity shift, but for a lot of people that can come on abruptly or it can take a long time or it might never happen.

I think that one of the things that is so fascinating about motherhood is that the journey begins with your first act of surrender. You don’t know if you will be able to get pregnant. You do not know if you’ll be able to stay pregnant. And I think that deep down in a lot of women, our greatest fear is that that won’t happen when we want it to, or if we want it to.

Act of Surrender

If we’re looking at this conversation from a lens of ambitious women, which I think honestly, all women are ambitious, but specifically, ambitious women who do want to continue with their career or start that business, or keep up that side hustle while going through pregnancy and entering motherhood and being a mom, I think that the act of surrender is really hard for us because we are control freaks. We love to be in control of our destiny. We love to be in control of what we’re working towards. That act of surrendering is so scary and so hard. And we often have a really hard time wrapping our heads around it.

We want to feel ready. We want to check off the boxes. We want to know with certainty this is when something is going to happen for me. When I look back on my journey now – I can say this now being so removed from it, I couldn’t have said this while I was in it – I can see that I needed that three year window of loss and pain and grief to really understand what surrender could look like in my life.

Sometimes they say, “God’s rejections are your protection.” I feel like I was being protected in that season while not knowing it, while walking through the muck, to help me prepare for when Coco finally arrived.

Does Motherhood Halt Your Success?

Kylie expressed to me that she feels like once she gets pregnant, she only has 9 months to finish every life goal she’s ever had and that her career and life success will stop once she has a baby. I can remember having those same fears and mindset challenges, too.

When I was pregnant for the first time, I was at the height of my photography career. When I was pregnant for the third time with Coco, I was kind of approaching the height or what I thought was the height of my business career. Boy, was I wrong! 

There were so many opportunities coming my way and so many things that were in the future. When you’re thinking or entertaining the idea of getting pregnant, automatically you’re like, whoa, if I say yes to this, I could be six months pregnant. Should I maybe not say yes to this?

A person who really spoke into my life as I was getting pregnant with Quinn was my masseuse and medical medium Thea. She brought me home to make decisions that are right today and know that you can change. You can change your mind. You can change the decision, you can change the choice when you change.

Remember this: The right opportunities are going to accept you in every season and stage of your life and the wrong ones are going to fall away. 

More from this Episode

Want to tune into a heart-to-heart chat about motherhood, ambitions, fighting fears and understanding our own mindsets when it comes to parenthood? Press play on this episode and dig into the off the cuff conversation – it’s getting vulnerable in here, y’all. 

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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