I spent my 20’s chasing career and money, and I will hold true to the fact that I did the right thing. I waited until I was in my 30’s to have children because I didn’t want my children to lack any parts of me. So, when I finally had children, I quit my lucrative job and took a less paying job but it 100% was not for me. I was able to get home at 5:30 p.m. every day, but I left filling unfulfilled (and let’s not talk about the $16,000 pay cut). It wasn’t like I saw a big difference in my children, they were just as rambunctious when I got home a 5:30 p.m. as when I got home at 7:30 p.m. Therefore, circumstances would have it that my former boss had a position available that was demanding and required travel and it would require lots of hours…. I took it. Yes, realizing that it may put a strain on my family, and my almost preschool daughter wouldn’t see me until late at night, but fulfillment is important to me, so I negotiated to have Fridays off.
From the time that I began the job in March, I loved it, it gave me creative freedom and flexibility but there have been times that I have to travel, and my hours are not 9-5. However, career fulfillment has always been of utmost importance to me so I will persist. I will meal plan, have individual time with my children and schedule date nights with my husband…. this would work right? Not exactly. My work had become demanding and there were times I didn’t get to meal plan, and at times my children missed alone time with me because I was far too exhausted to schedule it. Then, I began to question myself, had I made the right decision? Was I selfish for wanting a fulfilling career and a family? Is this what it looks like to have it all?
That is when I decided to seek counsel, from my mother, my aunts, girlfriends and every Michelle Obama clip I could find on YouTube. What I learned was simple, you can have it all, but having it all comes with sacrifice. The fact of the matter is as a mother the pressure that I put on myself to be successful in all facets of my life is the pressure I put on MYSELF. In no area of my life is anyone expecting perfection, everyone just wants my 100% effort. I love every part of my life, my family and my career and I have learned that I do not have to choose. However, it is imperative that I take time for myself (which I learned from Michelle Obama) as a mother, I must be fair to myself and set up a ritual that only includes me. I have implemented this, and it opens me up to be much more efficient in every area of my life. So I guess work-life balance does exist…. I just had to create it.