The Guilt, oh the Guilt...
A lovely coach I have just started working with was talking about her 16yr old daughter and lamenting that she is about to leave home. ‘You sound so busy with work and coaching…It goes so fast’, she says.
And that’s the trouble, isn’t it? Working mums are in a no-win situation. You want to be home enjoying your children because they won’t be there for long. Sixteen years is not long. I can clearly remember sixteen years ago because that’s when I started working at the company I’m still with. I remember mooning around the department looking for something to do (my manager was rubbish at delegating), I can remember the new grey suit I had and which pub was the current favourite. It doesn’t seem that long ago at all.
But seriously, making me spend that long at home with children, even if I do love them to the moon and back, would drive me insane. Currently I work part time and the day after my day at home with the kids, well sometimes I almost skip into the office.
Which results in the much-famed Guilt. 'I love my children and I love my work but I can’t commit fully to either.' Well, really, is that true? For me, I think I love my children and my job more because I can have both. I focus fully on each when I’m there. I have lots of great quality time with the kids, and because I’m not there All The Time with them, they seem to value mummy time more.
So we have a dichotomy. Can you be a loving, fully engaged, nurturing mother and at the same time be a successful woman in the workplace? It’s challenging, of course. Massively so. Some days seem like a juggling act of epic proportions. Would I be without it? No way.