Post # 1
I had an impromptu meeting with my boss today and he asked me when I thought I’d be returning, maybe in 6 months? As a side note – I’m Canadian and typically we get a full year of maternity leave. I responded “9” as we had discussed when I first took the job and he playifully acted like he didn’t remember but nonetheless, accepted it (again). I said that I wanted to have enough time at home but that it was still important for me to have a career that I could continue to grow in when I got back. His response was that I could, but it would mean I work harder at my job.
It got me thinking about the path I’m heading down (motherhood) and how that will impact my career and desire to continue growing in my career. Will I want the same things when I come back? Is it bad if I do or don’t? And do I do it all while being a mom?
Would love any insight from other Career Momma Bees!
Post # 3
I find that being a mom is a powerful motivator to succeed further with my career. My baby will be six months old in less than a week. Since having her I have applied and been accepted in to grad school. My motivation for this also stems from having very little growing up. I almost obsess over making sure my baby will have everything she needs.
Post # 4
I think it can go either way. More commonly, a lot of women find it hard to leave a piece of their heart behind every day to go to work – I’ve seen that in even very successful senior executive women like my aunt. Then there are those who basically don’t take a break at all – they work right up until delivery, after which they promptly set up their office in their hospital room, and work from home the whole time not really taking mat leave, like Bonnie Fuller. 😛
I hope for a balance, and I think my SO’s (physical & emotional) support will be a huge help in making it happen for me. 🙂
Post # 5
I don’t have a job that I love or even like, but thinking about going back next month when my daughter will only be 12 weeks old kills me. More than anything, I wish I could be a SAHM and take care of her. It’s hard to think about being away from her for hours. I just feel like she needs me so much, and I feel like I will be letting her down.
Post # 6
I went back to work when DD was just shy of 6 weeks old. I was not as upset/emotional/whatever about it as I thought I would be. Honestly, by that time I needed a break. I like being a whole individual person. It also makes me a more patient and attentive mother when we’re together. I appreciate our time more.
Oh, and I don’t work in a high-stress job that I bring home with me at the end of the day. I work in a lab, so once the samples are done I’m done mentally as well. And for the first few weeks my MIL came to our home and stayed with the baby so I wasn’t like sending her off into the big scary world all by herself or anything. Even now at 8 months she comes twice a week and the other three days she goes to a sitter’s house.
Post # 7
I don’t think it’s possible to truly ever have it all (for anyone) and I think once you realize that, you can be at peace. But I do think you can have a career that you love and a family life that you love as well. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. You just have to realize that you can’t be 100% devoted to each aspect of your life and balance those things that you set as priorities.
Post # 8
Yes, you absolutely can have it all. But keep in mind that you will have good days and bad days just like anything in life. There will be days where you get back from an international business trip where you killed the meeting, a promotion is imminent, you were able to do next season’s shopping in Paris and your family is happily at home waiting dinner for you with their straight A report cards for both kids. Life is good, and your balance is good. Then there will be days where your child is the ONLY kid in class who did not wear pj’s to school on wear pajamas to school day, you missed the basketball registration and have to beg and make a large donation to get them into the league, your boss is all over your ass for not providing a project with enough pre – read time and you notice at 6 PM that your shirt was on inside out. Whine with cheese in order with a big dose of Mommy guilt. Not to mention your friend tells you of a nasty rumor that was said about you by the Smothers at the PTA meeting where they blame your childs’ lack of MIT grade science project on the fact that “you work so that mommy can feel fulfilled.” Bad day, very bad day – balance needs some serious adjustment. Good days and bad both at home and at work. Nothing is ever perfect so follow your heart and do what is right for you and your family. My BFF who is a highly educated, wealthy, beautiful SAHM by choice – who is the mom I wish I could be just had her middle school age daughter tell her that she is boring and should have done something with her life instead of just wasting it being at home like her friends “cool” moms who have awesome jobs and their daughters get to travel with them on business trips. Ouch. Who would’ve seen that coming? There is no perfect solution, you do the best you can with the resources and knowledge that you have at that time. I hope that helps, best wishes!
Post # 9
- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
I think “having it all” is a modern myth that places immense and unfair pressure on our collective psyche. You can have what you want, and as much as you can invest time into, but will it make you happy? Happiness is a choice, and sometimes one that is facilitated by intentionally simplifying your life such that “all” is replaced by “more good things, less things total.”
Post # 10
@DaneLady: That’s exactly how I felt. My daughter and I deserve time apart. Its good for us. I went back to work when she was six weeks old and it was sad but we got into a great routine. She goes to my husband’s mom during the day so I am happy with that.
Not gonna lie…we aren’t great together after more than a week of me staying home. Lol.
Post # 11
@OfficeBride: I think you can have it all, if you want it all. But also if you have the right support (be it from family, friends and your employer). Your employer doesn’t sound super supportive so it might not end up being the best fit. When I told my boss I was pregnant he basically said take as much time off as you want (unpaid of course) but said my job would be waiting for me whenever I decided to come back. He’s also been very receptive to alternative work schedules and telecommuting when I do come back. It really helps that he’s supportive of my goals as a mother and an employee and that he values work-life balance. I thikn if I was working for a less supporitve and flexible employer I would find it difficult to feel like I could have it all.
Post # 12
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
You can have it all, but not all at once. I did it in a mixed up fashion. I got pregnant and had a baby when what I really wanted was schooling and a career. Now I have the awesome career and all I really want is a baby. Go figure.
Honestly, having a career and a teenager isn’t so bad. There are days when working a full day and being Mom’s taxi service gets tiring, but it’s worth it to know that my kid is fully engaged in school activities and all of my work projects are progressing nicely. What helps me maintain my sanity is the flexibility of my office. I work from home at least 2 days a week. I can show up as early as 6am or as late as 10am. As long as I put in my hours and my work is done well, my management really doesn’t care what time I show up and leave, or if I even actually make it into the office at all. I have had multiple promotion offers and I’ve turned them all down in order to keep my flexibility. If I keep playing my cards right, I’m 2 years away from joining the management team I currently work under, meaning that I get the promotion and keep the flexibility. Yes, that means I’m forgoing money and experience now, but I believe the payoff for my patience will be worth it.
Post # 13
I work in the schools and my schedule is insanely comfortable for raising a family with summers weekends and holidays off. For me, I feel like I’m set up to have it all if I want it in that sense with my career. Because I’m an SLP I could work per diem for a hospital or rehab center and do as much or as little as I wanted. There isn’t a great deal of advancement in my field but the money is solid for us to live comfortably. For me there is a lot of options for work just not a lot of promotions and working my way up so-to-speak
Post # 14
lovekiss cherrypie AstoriaK: This.
The meaning of “having it all” is what you make of it. No, you cannot be 100% devoted to your career and 100% devoted to your home life at the same time. Finding a balance that brings your life the optimal level of happiness is what “having it all” actually means.
Post # 16
@OfficeBride: I’m not a mom yet, but I was raised by a working single mother so I understand the difficulty of balancing work and motherhood.
I’d say it depends on what your definiton of ‘having it all’ is – if you mean having a career, but also making sure your child feels loved and supported by you then yes, it’s possible with a lot of effort. But if you mean having a great career, but also being there for your kids 100% of the time – no, it’s not possible.
Like a pp said, you can’t be 100% dedicated to your kids and 100% dedicated to your career. The idea of ‘having it all’ by being a high flying career woman and an incredibly present, attentive mother who does everything for her children is an unfair and impossible expectation placed on women and you shouldn’t measure your success by it. The type of woman who appears to pull that off has a nanny.
So no, I guess you can’t have it all. Don’t aim for complete success in all areas, just pick the ones that matter the most to you and make sure you achieve the most you can in them.