A few weeks ago, I posted about enjoying lunch with my daughter at her school. For such a short post, it generated a lot of discussion, perhaps in part because it struck a nerve with other women who simultaneously perform professionally and as mothers, without compromising either “career”. I've posted in depth about these issues before, here and here.
The post shared how glad I am that I quit my traditional job because doing so put me in the position of being able to have lunch with my daughter in the middle of a workday without having to answer to anyone. What I didn't say is that I have to turn her down sometimes too. In fact, I did it last week. Twice.
As the week progressed and activity regarding the Colorado Safe Personal Care Products Act increased, I knew I would not be able to have lunch with my daughter. As I declined her invitation two days in a row, I thought about my post, and decided to share the other side of the coin too. Even though I enjoy a great deal of flexibility, I still can't have lunch with my daughter each time she asks.
I always like to tell it like it is, and I do not want to leave anyone with the impression that my choice is the best choice, or that it is not without its special set of challenges. I also don't want anyone who wants to leave a traditional job, but is not yet in a position to do so, to leave this blog feeling discouraged or under-appreciated.
As women, we need to support one another's individual career and mothering choices. I am glad to live in a nation and a time when we can exercise more choices and have more flexibility. But no situation is perfect, and while I am grateful that I can choose to drop everything when my daughter calls, I am frequently required to choose not to.
Question: How do you encourage the women in your life to make career and mothering choices, based on what works best for them?