Women play several roles in life: mother, housewife, professional, partner, wife – just to mention some. And society demands that we, women, be 100% good in everything we do. I say it is not possible to be 100% good in every role we have in life. And I say that based on my own experience as a single mother with a professional life.
When you are the only bread winner, your mind is focused on getting the money to pay the bills and provide the basics to your child. You must do your job very well, because you can not run the risk to lose it. You ought to do it outstanding, because you may be seen and even get acknowledged to a better position – which may mean more money and a less tight budget in the end of the month. It may seem weird, but spend most of your time apart from your child because you are thinking of your child. And where is your child when you are working?
In the parallel world, your child is being cared either by a day school, of by your mother, or a neighbor takes them after school and care about them till you come back from work (let space for your alternative here). Your working day is over, you take your child wherever they had been cared are and drive home. You are so exhausted from your day, from your demanding boss, from the traffic jam you were stuck in… but your child wants to play with you. They have missed you the whole day and were counting the minutes to be with you again.
So, you create energy (love you have more than enough!) and plays with them a while before cooking dinner for you both. With little breaks you fill up the wash machine and let the laundry running on it. Dinner is ready (this time nothing burned!) and you sit to enjoy the moment with your child. After dinner, it is already time to go to bed: you take your child to take a bath, brush teeth, put on pajamas and take them to bed. But they are not tired yet and want you to tell a story. And a second. And one more… you handle with them that it will be the last story, because you still have a lot to do.
After more than half an hour, your child finally sleeps. Then you come back to the kitchen, clean the table (yes, kids make always a mess when eating!), do the dishes and prepare already the table for breakfast. A little bit time to write down a list of groceries to buy is now possible. When you sit and start writing it, the wash machine pipes: it is ready and you have to hang up the clothes.
In a glance at your desk, you notice you must take time to organize some papers, now. “It will not take long”, you think. But. It. Takes. Long. Very long.
You are tired, it is already very late. You take a shower and go to bed, not before setting the clock to wake you up in less than six hours. Six hours. Then it starts all over again. Breakfast, child to dress up, eat, leave home, take child to school and go to work. This day you have a very important project meeting which you prepared yourself carefully for. Mental energy. You must perform it at your best.
Tell me sincerely, in which moment you were 100% what? And think that I am considering only two roles: mother and professional. Your whole as a woman is much, much more than only these two.
I will come back to this topic. For example, the amount of time you spend with your child: quality and/or quantity?