Motherhood vs. Work – Does everyone feel the pain?

Career_TheUltimateJugglingActIt’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately: motherhood vs. work. Can you really have it all?

When I started my own business after working just a few hours a week for a previous employer, my role as mother shifted. Of course I was still mommy and I continued to do my fair share of diaper changes, late night feedings, giving baths, handling bedtime, playing games and tending to boo boos (no matter how hard or how long I work at my job I’ll always be a mom!). But I became a working woman again too and by the very nature of that, I started seeing my children less.

My work hours extended from 10 a week to 40+. That meant my daughter started spending more time at preschool and her brother met several new babysitters. And while I was confident in the care they were receiving and I was thrilled with my  new professional life and growing business, I still felt the mama guilt seep in.

Of course, I’m not the first mama who’s wondered if she’s doing the right thing by trying to have it all. Celebrity Baby Blog recently ran a story about actress Jane Kaczmarek, a mother of three, whose career took off just as she was starting her family. Although she was thrilled with her professional success she conceeded that the long hours she worked and the times she went days without seeing her children were very difficult. She recently arranged her schedule so she works much less than she did before and now she’s able to spend quantity and quality time with her kids.

I’m on the opposite end of where Jane is right now. My kids are young and my business is too. Providing the nurturing needed by both my kids and my business is a balancing act I have yet to perfect. Truth be told, I’m the one who ends up suffering. My children are my priority so I make sure to spend plenty of time with them. But my business and the commitment I’ve made to my clients is obviously important too. I often work long hours, late into the night, to be sure I get everything done.

It can be tough. My life is super busy these days. But I also find it invigorating to work hard at both motherhood and business and “have it all,” as long as I remember that sleep isn’t included in the “all.”

[photo credit: Sam’s Club]


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