Women can now do everything and be everything they want to be. They can be doctor, firefighter, bus driver, CEO, and president. No holding us back. But sometime rocks and pebbles coming down stumbling our way. For working or career mothers, the rocks and pebbles are mostly in forms of guilt, jealousy, and helplessness. We feel guilty that we don’t spend time more with our kids and that we defied our norms as a woman. We feel jealous of colleagues who is single and still can do their best at work and career. We feel helpless because we want to keep things is balance but nobody seems to understand and we don’t want to be judged.
I keep remind myself that I am not being a bad mother just because I go to work. I help my family’s financial position and that is not something anyone could take for granted these days. So many people cannot find work and others are laid off from their work. And what is a woman actually means? It attributes a female human being but can also mean a feeling inside or attitude. Being a woman is all but being a man. What’s being a man actually means? Exactly.
Is being a man means do not feel scared? So, a woman is a coward?
Is being a man means fix around the house? So, a woman cannot fix around the house? Totally clueless?
And so many other options.
The only difference is how our body works. A man can be stronger than a woman but that does not mean a woman is weak. Just look at this list of Strongest Women in The World. Also childbirth, do not ever forget about that! See who’s doing the labor? A woman.
It is human to feel jealous but does it have to affect all aspects in life? Should it be felt each and every single day in our life? The answer is no. If one feels jealous all the time then he or she must be the most miserable human being ever. Yes I just bold and underlined it. Why too much? Because that is what you are if you feel jealous all the time = too much.
I do feel jealous especially when I see colleagues who work 40-50++ hours a week or even way more, so they can finish multiple tasks and delivered on time. I feel jealous to see those who are not yet with children and can go miles and miles away to clients office situated in far-faraway land. Jealous that they don’t have to deal with messy house and dirty laundries, crying children, and the perpetual question “what’s for dinner tonight?”
But the feeling comes and goes. I don’t feel jealous all the time. Sometime after a chat with colleagues who are single, I feel bad and then good. Of course I feel jealous of them showing pictures of their snowboarding holiday or backpacking trips to unknown islands in Asia. Showing the picture of their new house and car. But I also cannot imagine my life without my children, hell, I cannot even wait for the clock to strike 4 or 4.30 so I can be prepared and pick my kids from the creche.
In all honesty, human being can be very judgmental and condescending towards others. If a working mother stuck in her thoughts about ideal woman or norms and such, then it is easy to feel helpless. I want to keep my job and working but I am afraid of asking how do I juggle, without being told that I am already a bad mother for working. But then again who is living your life if not yourself? I believe it is time for me to regain my reign over myself, over me.
Ideally a person’s professional career path would be straight up shooting for the stars or just virtually a vertical line.
But for a working parents, especially mothers, it might not be the case. It is time for me to realize that I probably would not be in the straight line anymore. So many obstacles coming my way, not just the ones I mentioned above. Each family is unique and have their own problems and ways to solve them. Once children appears in our life, our priorities shifted. No more about me but more about them and the family. How to basically manage your children and have our expectations come true.
All of a sudden problems can occur in bulk. The way to solve it is to deal with it. One by one. Dirty house and crying child, which one is first? Mine would be the child. After the child got consoled then, if I still have energy, clean the house. It will took me more time and more energy but it will give me the outcome I wanted. Before having children I can clean all day and even clean the dust in the back of the TV. But now I take it slow and relax. If it is still messy and dusty, I will pay a cleaner to clean my house. Dinner? If I still have energy then I will cook, if not I can always call delivery service or buy ready meals from the supermarket. Of course I want to feed my family healthy and organic food, but I just don’t have the time. Decision have to be made and between coming home from work and children’s bedtime, time flies very quickly. Decisions decisions decisions. Tick tick tick. Prioritize and then do. One by one.
It’s A Maze
If a day’s life can be a long journey then it would reflect in our professional life. So, again, prioritize and do. One by one. When the children are in the daycare and I am at work, it is best for me to focus on the work.
Finish tasks. Deliver results. Report. Work work. Meetings and discussions.
5 PM: Go home, pick up the kids. Work is done for today.
So, the path is bendy and flickering. Just like a maze: start, find a path. Stuck, take steps back and find another path. Repeat all until find the finish line.
This is a reminder for myself not to give up quickly and to always practice my prioritizing skill. If I don’t have it already embedded within myself, then it is time for me to learn it. Also to adjust expectations. No more thinking that I want – I want, but more like I can – I can.