It is a truth of the universe that something always has to give. To have a lot of anything, concessions need to be made in another aspect of your life. Lets not be greedy shall we? In my last year of undergrad I worked two jobs to pay the bills. This is all the while taking extra courses to graduate after changing majors and finishing up my honors thesis. The good news is that the grades didn’t slip but needless to say I ended up performing both employment positions poorly.
One of the jobs was in a restaurant and was so physically demanding that I vowed to get a career that allowed me to sit most of the time. Service people work hard for their honest living. The whole experience taught me that there is a danger to over-committing, even with a stubborn streak and will to get the pay stub. In the end you do no one any favors with this “leaning in” and more often than not they are disappointed that you’re a flake.
I’m reflecting on all of this now because at this transition I’m trying to strategize for my career. Luckily my husband is investing in my worth because he has the childcare worked out for me. But I wondered, if my primary job was to take C to enrichment classes, prepare his meals, play and have fun, instead of finishing my PhD and looking for employment, would I feel differently? Would I be less stressed with the juggle? If we took back the cost of childcare and forgot about gaining a salary for me, would I be able to put that effort into raising my son? As with anything I would want to do it well.
This is all hypothetical of course because I’m not sure if I am wired to take on motherhood as my sole career. It’s not that I don’t love it, which of course I do, I’m just inspired by different types of fulfillment. But I do believe that I might perform my motherly duties so much better if that was my only concern. These types of considerations do serve reminders to maintain balance. One always needs to set priorities and allocate energy to what matters most. Don’t lose yourself now.