Recently I became a first-time mom to a 28-week preemie who is thankfully (now 9 weeks later) out of the hospital intensive care. He’s with my husband and I and though it was hard to be separated from him for so long, we are just now getting to know what it’s like to be working parents.
Since we’re both entrepreneurs, our plan has always been to share childcare responsibilities. We want to be hands-on parents seeing the daily growth and development of our son. However, less than a week into this new reality and already it’s a challenge to find time for everything.
Career versus Family – can you really have it all?
- I’ve coached working parents for years and the first step I take them through is to soul search and clarify what “having it all” means. We talk about the natural shift in priorities that occurs when you have a child and how it’s okay to have an “identity crisis” of sorts as you start to measure success by more than just salary and title.
- If you’re unsure about what you really want, start with the end in mind. Fast forward to your 80th birthday – what will you look back on and be most proud of – hours spent at the office or time spent playing with your child? There’s no right answer and though others may have their opinions, ultimately the best choice is the one that makes you happy.
- Given your example, will your child learn that work is a chore or a means to fulfillment? Children take cues from their parents about what role work plays in their lives. So with my clients we also talk about one of the biggest work life myths – that you have to sacrifice your dreams because you have a family to think about. It doesn’t have to be an either-or choice. My Mom decided to have it all by making a career change at age 28 AFTER having 3 kids. I watched her go through medical school and graduate to become a well-respected physician in our community. By doing so, she showed me its never too late to change careers and find great success. (Of course she didn’t have to miss out on becoming a grandmother either!)
Forget the mommy wars let’s have some productive conversation.
Would you go after your dream job even though you had a family to think about or would you put your dreams on the back burner? Do you feel its a daily struggle of career versus family? Is sacrifice a good thing?
Comment here and weigh in on my SIRIUSXM SHOW Fridays at 4p ET/1pm PT (Call in # 1-866-675-6675).
- This week, hear work/life advice from special guest Emmy-award winning actress Patricia Heaton (Debra from Everybody Loves Raymond fame). Talk about someone who has it all – Patricia has a thriving career and 4 sons!
Mildred Vermont – “Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs… since the payment is pure love.”