Should I Stay or Should I Go Now? ….. A Life Changing Decision

working womanwe can do it

I suppose it is an age old question. Can women truly have it all? Can we work full time and do well, while also doing well at being a wife and a mother.
I have worked full time for most of my elder childrens lives with the odd few months at home with them while I was either between childcare providers or studying. I didn’t work because I wanted to be out all day in the rat race or because I enjoyed running from home to childcare to work, sometimes in the very early hours of the morning, in the winter, in the rain! It wasn’t because I was in a career that would provide me with the job satisfaction I longed for nor was it because I was earning a 3 figure salary. It was because I didn’t have a choice. The bills had to be paid, the dinner on the table and clothes on the childrens backs. I worked to live, I did not live to work.

I resented the people who could afford to stay at home and still have a top of the range car. I missed my children while I wasn’t there and overcompensated for the guilt when I was.

I read a post on facebook posted by an old school friend regarding working mums. Her comments were harsh – women should be at home rearing their children and if they werent they were only part time parents! I couldn’t believe what she was saying. I was never a part time parent I was a parent who had to fit in 40 hours of work on top of being a parent. It doesn’t mean either of us have done a better job then the other but it got me thinking again about the decision I now have to make about whether or not I return to work after my maternity leave is up. Now I do have the choice.

Six months felt like a very long time back in February but it is slipping away very quickly and I am getting anxious. I am battling with the independent, strong willed and often stubborn woman inside me who still wants society to see her as a breadwinner. The woman who still needs adult conversations, fancy lunches, suits and a briefcase!

Over the years and especially since having my third baby another woman has developed inside me. She is caring, compassionate and wants her only job to be her children, her home and her husband. She wants to cook, she wants to clean she wants to bake for the school cake sale, she wants to have the time to help with homework. “How ridiculously old fashioned” sneers the working woman. “We didn’t burn our bra’s for this!..Women can do it all!”….

And that’s it – that’s the battle. Should I stay or should I go now?

Is there ever a balance between the two? Can I be both women anymore? …. Time will tell.

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You have got to find your Passion!

I had a conversation with somebody, somewhere many years ago, infact i can’t quite remember if it was a somebody or just something I read or overheard. “To be truly happy in life you have got to find your passion”.

I have spent many years searching for just that. I mean, did I have a passion for anything, a talent, even a hobby? Yes, I went through phases of wanting to be this and that – unfortunately, I am not blessed with the virtue of patience which meant I quickly got bored or I burnt out and gave up on most things, but did I have a true passion – something I couldn’t give up on no matter what? I have wanted to be a chef, teacher, entrepreneur, solicitor, therapist and even a hairdresser! I have studied in many different areas and had many different jobs but nothing provided me with that spark.

I gave birth to my first daughter at the tender age of 19 and my second not long after, just shy of my 21st birthday. When my peers were off at college, travelling the world or on the first rung of the ladder of their chosen careers I was dealing with stretch marks, dirty nappies, sleepless nights and working in positions I really couldn’t stand just to “pay the bills” while my daughters were growing up with babysitters.

I was offered a great job at the end of 2012, a dream job to some, with an american company and great prospects. I was travelling to London and the US – places I could never have dreamt of visiting. I didn’t know what to think when I found out I was expecting my third child last July. I felt indifferent about it to say the least. After all I had given up my youth to rear my two elder daughters and it wasn’t easy as a single mother you know! I was finally getting my life back, I was finally able to concentrate on me, on finding my passion! It was my turn to shine, to succeed and to have something for me! (Obviously after the initial selfish thoughts we were both delighted) This was going to be my partners first child which was very exciting, even more so when we found out we were having another girl.

I had mentally put my search for my passion on hold, resigning myself to the fact that I was going to be starting all over again. As the pressures of work lifted and I spent more quality time at home with my daughters I realised that they were growing up so fast and soon they would leave the nest to start their own lives. I started to embrace being at home with them, we cooked together, we watched movies, had proper conversations – I got to know them both – our bond strengthened and I saw how beautiful they both truly are inside and out.

Rebecca Mae was born on the 8th March 2014 and I was; and continue to be so consumed with love for her that I find it hard to breathe, just as I am for my elder daughters. Having a newborn in the house has completed our family, tied us all together and made us appreciate each other. The biggest realisation I have had is that I did have a passion, a talent and that one thing I would never give up on. I found it 14 years ago when my first wonderful daugther was born. I am already a chef, teacher, entrepreneur, solicitor, therapist and even a hairdresser, because I am a MUM. This is what I was born to do, this is where I am happy and truly shine. These three girls ARE my life’s achievement and I couldn’t be more proud of them all. I will no longer have to search for fulfillment because I have had it here all along. While my peers were off finding their passions I already had mine – it has just taken a while to realise it.

Spend time with your children, get to know them. I know only too well how difficult that can be when you are arguing with a teenager because she wants to wear makeup or won’t clean her room or when you are changing your tenth nappy of the day and stink of baby sick but they grow up too fast and soon they won’t want to hold our hands or give us a cuddle.