This is a busy time of year for me and will be for the next few months. As they say, one must make hay while the sun shines.
That said, at this time of year I can also really question the messages I received in early childhood and beyond. That it was all about having a career, being successful, being, “just like a man.”
Perhaps all that is possible minus children, and indeed before I had kids I focused mainly on building my career. But now I find myself in the situation that my busy season coincides with my kids summer break.
I sometimes try to picture what life as, “just a mom” would be like. Sadly it’s so foreign to me, and has never been my world, that I can’t really even picture it. What would I do with all that time? Who would I “be” without my career? I really have no idea.
One of the big reasons I was encouraged to have a career was because it was supposed to provide a woman with freedom. Freedom from dependence, freedom from being left in the lurch, the freedom of being able to support oneself.
What they don’t tell you is it becomes a trap, too. Once you have a career, especially a successful one, people naturally expect you to continue. Having a career often involves significant investment (education, time, energy, etc.) walking away from that career means losing all that investment. And having a career does provide income, income you and others then often don’t feel you can give up once you have it.
Something else they don’t tell you is everything has a price. There’s no magical path of all upside.
My career has created revenue, yes, but has come at significant cost, as well. To both myself and others. It’s simply impossible to have it all. So I have a great career, but it takes away from other spheres (important, critical ones) no matter how hard I try to “balance” it all.
So is it really freedom? Is it really better?
These are the questions I ask myself as I pay others to take my kids swimming or to enjoy some summer fun while I work.
I guess i did it. I really am just like a man, at least in one way. Men rarely get to take summer off, spend the days playing with their kids either.
What do you think? Please share in the comments.