RESTARTING: The Story After Motherhood


Motherhood forced me to embrace all facets of myself. It taught me that my worth was not defined by how others chose to label me and allowed me to connect with and enhance aspects of my most authentic self. Here’s how I made that transition.

by Almeta Dellagnolo

Roles of Women

As women, we often define ourselves by the roles that we play, I am a mother, I am a wife, I am a caregiver, I am a career woman. We are expected to seamlessly transition between these titles, professional by day, mother by night, donning each hat according to whichever behavior is currently expected of us.

Throughout these transitions, though, it can be very easy to lose touch with what defines us as unique individuals, the self that loves art, the self that writes poetry or delights in interior design, the self that likes to get dirt under her fingernails or watch a thunderstorm.

I was 23 when I became a full-time wife and mother, leaving a management position at a large international retail firm to stay home and raise our daughter. A transition that I thought would be an easy one turned out to be one of the most difficult challenges I have faced.

It would lead me down a path of self-discovery, have me questioning my worth and force me to face internalized beliefs that I had formed around what IS worthy.

I associated so much negativity with the persona that is “domestic”, this idea of the aproned Hausfrau so far from whom I had envisioned myself to be that I experienced an internal crisis. I felt like I had to apologize every time I was asked the question: “What do you do?” The word “maternal” is the opposite of sexy in our society, suggesting a plump amorphous creature who lives only for her children.

In reality, I discovered a love of creating, a deep appreciation for nature, and a reclaiming of my heritage, I realized that being a mother and the decision to focus on raising our children did not diminish me, rather it was one aspect of the many colorful facets that I was comprised of.

In many ways, I feel that a huge opportunity is being lost, the women that are raising the future generations are not being given the resources and support that would empower them to fulfill their potential

… whether it be support for a new mother transitioning back to work, a mother deciding to stay home, or a mother who has been absent from the workforce stepping into that role once again.

The incredible speed at which things evolve and change leaves one disconnected and makes it difficult to find an easy entry back into the workforce. This was one of the main factors that encouraged me to start my own business. Then, of course, there were feelings of fear and doubt. I often felt like I had no right to be doing what I was doing. I struggled with every failure and was on the verge of quitting. I am so very glad that I didn’t.

Instead, what I learned we all have unique gifts and talents, and we all have something magnificent to offer humanity, especially, if we are brave enough to look beyond the labels that limit us.

About the author

Almeta Dellagnolo is an indigenous jewelry artist and designer, she enjoys combining her love of contemporary design with traditional indigenous materials to create pieces that empower and inspire.


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