I felt as if it was one of the saddest days in my life.
The day I had to leave work in my chosen career to stay home. I had fostered my career from the ground up and it was a high focus business career. I had thrived in this environment, making decisions, being productive and creative. Managing people and resources in an efficient and organised way. The entire working atmosphere energised me, and I loved it. I had promised myself that I would never stay at home or be a “housewife.” If necessary I would work just to pay for someone to look after our home’s needs.
In no way did I disrespect people who chose to stay home. Personally, I needed to be out in the world contributing to the running of “the big machine”. It was my calling.
When I did end up at home, for the first few years I was kept busy looking after my daughters who were born only 17 months apart! It was a crazy time, but all went well, and they were adorable little girls. I discovered a kind of love that I never knew existed.
Then all too soon they were off to school, and I was left alone in the house. Alone with nothing to do but clean up other people’s stuff, dust, and vacuum. I suddenly had been demoted to taxi driver, garbage collector and maid. A horrible new dark reality set in.
I felt that I had lost my life. Thankfully, I still had my girls to look after and enjoy their company. But, of course, as time went on, they became busier with other activities, and we spent less time together.
In hindsight, it seems strange that no one, including myself, realised my need for outside stimulation, productivity, and achievement.
The point of this post is to show another angle of the working mother. We are not all bitterly working outside of the home due to financial necessity. Instead, we find having a career, invigorating and fulfilling. Nothing can take the place of that feeling of being productive, involved and interactive with the world. It’s 2015, and the world has changed. Women are as essential in the workforce as men. In turn, we as people need that feeling of accomplishment just as much as men.
I’m not talking about a part-time job well below our skill set but staying in a position of levity in our chosen careers. Working as integral parts of the bigger picture. This whole issue of women not only staying but progressing in their careers while having children is not new yet remains controversial and long winded.
Women are entering the workforce at equal rates to men in all levels yet still today men fill the top positions within companies. Despite there being no reasons not to make work time adjustments, companies are still refusing to allow women to work re-arranged work hours to accommodate their duties as a parent.
I have personally seen numerous occasions where women have taken a matter of weeks in maternity leave to keep the perception of their committed to their careers. In turn, although men are now allowed paternity leave, I don’t know of one man who has taken advantage of this benefit.
What’s your opinion or experience on this subject? Are you a woman at home right now waiting eagerly to get back to work? Is the inequality of the workforce affecting your career?