I know very few mothers who chose not to go back to their career, and who are entirely happy with the decision they’ve made. Simplifying things horribly, the fulfillment and enjoyment of being with their kids was undeniable. But also never far from the surface was how much they missed adult conversation, probably just as much as the career and sense of autonomy that comes with it.
But equally, I know more than my fair share of Batjoms (BackToJobsMoms – you heard it here first!) who feel they’re letting their kids down by not being there for them instead of sending them to some form of daycare.
It’s an emotional, emotive and hugely controversial discussion that I won’t launch in to as it’s not central to Freaky Rivet’s topic. But there are career choices for both fathers and mothers which have us miss out on a lot of our kids’ growing up. I had one of those myself, which while immensely rewarding from a career perspective, meant that I didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked (or should have?) with my first two children. A large part of my decision to start up Freaky Rivet was so that I could get more time with them all, and especially to be with my youngest two for some of those things that I wasn’t with for my eldest two.
I remember an indecent amount of work deadlines, as well as work social responsibilities (which to be honest I often enjoyed just as much as felt I had to be there), all of which meant I’d rarely be home for my kids before bedtime.
And so I loved seeing this video from (I presume still not a mother) Marina Shifrin. Not only in terms of the feeling that her values were no longer aligned or appreciated by where she worked (which I sympathise with), but also the ludicrous hours that are sometimes demanded of you. Even more so for those of us who’ve worked in multinationals with expectations that you should be available for working hours in 2 or 3 radically different time zones.
But, in my mind, just as funny – especially at the end – was this WAHM ‘I Quit’ video. Watch til the end – it’s the best bit!