Having a long-overdue lunch with a former colleague who is also a new mom reconfirmed for me the age-old working mom dilemma – how can we do it all?? She was disillusioned having determined that she cannot stay home full-time yet on the other hand completely cannot stay away from her 5 month old baby. What was she to do she asked me, a far more experienced working mom – having done this “dance” for over eight years now. Unfortunately I told her, there is no easy answer.
Since giving birth to three children in two years (there are twins included in this) I have tried almost every work permutation and combination. I have opted out, worked part-time, worked at home, in an office, been an employee of a company, been self-employed and most recently have gone back full-time.
All these experiences as well as a professional role that includes daily career discussions and strategizing has led me to conclude that if you want to “do it all” there is no easy answer as to how. Most work environments in this country are not designed for career progression if you are still making the sacrifices that come with regular participation in your children’s lives. Something has got to give and every working mother is faced with continuous dilemmas as to how to juggle endless priorities.
I have personally chosen a path that has allowed me the flexibility to spend quality time with my children in the earliest years of their lives. I don’t regret this for a moment however there has definitely been a “price to pay” in the career arena. I think that each mom must find their happy balance on the continuum of work and family – we will all be in different places but what is key is that there is no right answer and whatever path we choose, we are happy and content. This ultimately will play a huge role in the impact we make both at work and importantly, at home.