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.