This is a guest post by Lisa Kallas, over at Sugar Loaf Dreamer. (Click here to visit her blog.)
When my mum was leaving school you were encouraged to stay at home and be a housewife and mother. If they did work it was in retail, nursing and light duties work. When I was leaving school you were encouraged to attend university and get agood job. Some of us never saw the inside of a university or college and went straight into work. At that point if you were lucky you found yourself a good provider and worked part time, able to have the choice to either work or stay at home when you became a mother. When my daughter was going through school university became more of a necessity to get a good job, a lot of women delayed getting married and having children as they were forging their careers and by the time they do decide to settle down it takes two incomes to just get by…….sound familiar???
In this the 21st century women can be anything they want no longer just holding down retail or admin jobs, they are becoming CEOs and entrepreneurs pushing the limits of those glass ceilings. We have cracked a lot of them, however we are still struggling for equal pay with men but that’s a whole other blog!!
So here you are mid career, maybe married trying to fit everything in. Your work, gym, socialising with the girls, shopping, cooking, cleaning all the incidental jobs traditionally held by women……you almost have to schedule a date with your partner in your diary just to fit it in. Then along comes baby……now what? How many times have you heard a newly pregnant lady say “I haven’t got time for a baby”? Well that’s when you have to take a step back and prioritise.
Believe it or not men, now more than ever want to be hands on with the child raising process. As far as jobs around the home go, men don’t always notice what we women do, so it seems they are lazy or unhelpful. This is not necessarily the case, most times if you ask they will help. So learn to delegate around the house. Put a time limit on the amount of work you bring home, I know you do….most of us will spend some personal time checking and answering emails, trust me, just because you may have your pjs on and a glass of wine in your hand it’s still work, so maximum 1 hour and then its family time, even if that family consists of only a partner or a dog. Cut it back.
At work, especially if you are the manager or CEO delegate, delegate, delegate. No one can do it all alone. One of the easiest ways of running a successful business with a happy team is inclusion. Teach them what you know, that way you won’t have to worry if you are absent from work….others now know how to run the joint without you. Trust me, that delegation bit, I struggled with that for years and then I became ill. Learning to share the load at work made such a difference to not only my happiness but the satisfaction of my team. It will also allow you to spend less work time when bub comes along.
It is a very personal choice whether to be a working parent or not, again I stress, some of us don’t have that choice and need to continue working while parenting. If that’sthe case make time, try to do a little housework each night and free up your weekends as much as possible for your family. Be there 100%, time with your children passes so quickly, they grow so fast, don’t miss it.
We can have it all if we wish, we can do anything a man does if we want to, we study and work for it. As someone that continued to work while parenting it is with experience I say make time, the years go so fast and unfortunately you can never get that time again.
Through all of this you also need to find some ME time. Burnout is a killer of many things, careers, marriages, friendships and people. Never be afraid to to ask for help, there is no sign of weakness in admitting you need it. Breathe in life and exhale love, that is what we need to do daily.
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