Do you ever wonder, how am I supposed to balance my need to work (like just plain old make an income and support my family), and my desire to build my career, with my desire to nurture loving, meaningful and lasting relationships with my kids?
Well you’re not alone.
In fact the array of challenges that working/career-minded mamas is vast:
Like when when your kids get sick. Or even more so, when you have a child with special needs that demand on-going care? How do I manage the practical, physical and mental demands of raising kids, you might wonder, while fulfilling the practical need to earn a living and a personal desire to develop and further my career?
Sometimes, it’s not so much about your career as much as it’s about putting food on the table but when you’re juggling motherhood with work, you might wonder how much money is worth giving up to be with your kids? One mama said “how poor do I have to be so my son can have a mom, and how poor can he (ie. lacking his mother’s presents and attention) be so I can go out to work and make money?”
There is also a real struggle among working/career-minded mamas who want to have children but don’t necessarily want to be the one to bear them. You might think “It’s not fair! Why me!! Can’t he carry the next one?” and you wouldn’t be alone.
Moms want to raise kids and nurture their careers equally but sometimes, they would just like to be relieved of the struggle between the two.
But then again, if by chance she wants one more than the other, she is conflicted with guilt because she thinks and feels that she should be 100% all the time in both fields of work and home.
But no one can be 100% at everything all the time. We all know that, cognitively at least. So to make it work and balance our responsibilities we often have to include our partners or spouses, and for many of us that poses many challenges.
Disagreements and feelings of resentment and dissatisfaction are inevitable when you put together two people from two (often completely) different backgrounds, with different standards and expectations, and tell them to make it work. In short, the challenge here for many of us boils down to letting go. Easier said than done.
Without doubt, one or more of the above scenarios resonates with you, but now you want to know how to tackle the struggle and begin to feel at peace, present and take pleasure in your many roles as a woman and mother.
So here are some thoughts and suggestions:
Many of the challenges we face reflect our perception– who we think we should be, what we think we should feel and how we think we should behave. When in actual fact, with some awareness and understanding of our values and expectations, we can make conscious choices and find satisfaction in the work/life balancing act.
For starters, you may need to adapt the expectations you have of yourself according to reality, and not what you think you, others or the circumstance SHOULD be (that obviously begs a whole lecture, but we’ll leave it at that for now).
Now that we’re considering our perceptions of ourselves, let’s also include our perceptions of our partners. That is, to find the realistic balance between what you expect of them and what they are capable of and willing to do.
Which brings us to the greater challenge of identifying the practical and emotional support you need in order to feel satisfied and content, and to ask for it.