Motherhood & Career: Tearing our hearts in two – How can we feel less torn?

Balancing Babies & Work: How can we feel less torn?

I can still remember the feeling acutely. Driving into the daycare centre to pick my baby up, panicked as the clock neared 6pm, worried about the work I had left undone at the office and above all excited to see my son. That roller-coaster of emotions occurred on a daily basis when I worked full time. I felt, like many career mothers feel, that I was completely torn between two lives. That I was not capable of delivering the same quality of work and quantity of time to my career that I once could and that I was not giving enough to my child. Even though all evidence pointed to the contrary, I was convinced I was failing at both roles. And after I filled my mother role, my career role and my growing self-doubt role, there was precious little left over to give to my husband, the house and (last on the list) myself. I know so many working women who feel like this. But perhaps we are our own worst enemy. Maybe, as well as looking critically at work practices and our situation, we need to challenge our beliefs.

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The Motherhood Peace Treaty: because the war never existed and we need to support each other

The Motherhood Peace TreatyA few years ago the media was awash with stories about the “mummy wars”. It was cartoonish and one dimensional. The indulgent stay at home mothers pitted against the ball-breaking super women who worked full-time. I am not sure if such a war ever existed. I think pitting mothers against each other is nothing but click and comment bait.

This is what I see when I look around at the mothers I know:  Some work full-time, others part-time, some work from home, some are self-employed, some work within family businesses, some are studying, some give an extraordinary amount of time to school governance, some do not do any paid work, some volunteer.  All of them are fantastic mothers. All of them have good days and bad days. All of them are busy. All of them are trying to figure out how to do their best. All of them love their children dearly and would do anything for them. And we all need a bit of support from each other.

So, in the spirit of supporting each other in the school yard (which seemed to be the original battlefield), this is my Motherhood Peace Treaty.  Read more