…just doesn’t exist. *GASP* I know, right? I’m in shock too. No, I’m not really. What does shock me is how hard some women I know are on themselves and how much they feel like failures when inevitably something on their list of To Do’s isn’t To Done.
Why can’t women take a break from their career to have a family knowing that when the time is right, they can return to their career and continue?
Reality is, the woman is the only one who can produce offspring so she has to be the one to fall pregnant and give birth. Sometimes the partner will choose to stay at home and the woman can go straight back to work, but usually its the woman who (initially, at least) becomes the primary, stay at home parent.
And why is that bad? Why is there this unspoken yet overwhelming belief that if you, as a woman, don’t try to simultaneously raise children and grow your career, you’re a failure? You’re letting the feminist cause down?
Why is stepping out of the rat race to raise a child seen as a failure or a permanent exit? An admission you were ‘never serious’ about your career? Or never had / don’t have any real ambition?
Why is being a full time mother looked at as synonymous to having no career or ambition?
I loved working. I thrive on organising. I spent every moment in my job learning, challenging myself, trying to better my abilities.
I gave up working a paid job to raise my daughter and if I had to work, right now, I’d look for a job where I could clock in and out, not something career oriented, because my focus right now is my family. And I’m ok with that.
I’m still ambitious. I still have career plans and I still intend to continue growing, learning, challenging and bettering myself – once I’ve finished this current project. I’ve had my cake, now I’m eating it and I plan to make more cake in the future.
I refuse to try to work on my career and raise a family full time simultaneously – I think that’s impossible for most people. You can’t give the necessary amount of focus and attention to these two polar opposite priorities to succeed properly at both. One will suffer.
I still have bits and pieces going on with working whilst I’m ‘mamma-ing’, but its certainly not my focus. And that doesn’t make me any less worthy as a person. I will not apologise for owning my woman-ness and being a mother right now because its a fucking tough job and an incredible privilege and I for one support an end to the refrain “I’m just a mum.” #hashtagthat! I think its akin to saying “I’m just a neurosurgeon.” Just?!? That’s an incredible achievement. You are amazing.
Likewise I think no less of my husband because he is working and continuing to build his career. He’s still present in our lives and still an amazing father and husband despite the fact his has a huge focus on his career. One of us has to be family focussed and that allows the other to be more career focussed – and vice versa. It doesn’t matter which gender or partner does which.
For those men and women out there who want to do it all and feel they can achieve that – I think that’s amazing and so long as its making you happy I hope you continue doing it.
But for those who feel obligated to ‘do it all’ so that you don’t feel like a failure…I hope you can stop, take a breath and face the reality that usually we can’t do it all. Have our cake and eat it too. And its totally fucking OK to do one thing and do it awesomely. And then finish that and do something else, also awesomely.
Eat the cake. Bake another later.