The New York Times recently published an article called: In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both.
Full stop. I had been in the middle of a social media break but I put that quickly on pause. Because this message is HUGE. It hits the very soul of my life passion: for women to have BOTH successful careers and fulfilling motherhood (and now I’d add…. a strong partnership in parenting to benefit both).
Can I just say….if I was working for a company remotely or outside my home I would be losing my mind about now.
I’m already stretched thin balancing my flexible, full-time business from home with all my kids – whom I love – here with me! Throw in an ex-husband who regularly tells me it’s “no big deal… they can manage themselves while you work” and I’ve just focused on deep, cleansing breaths to get through this season…. which SURELY must come to an end right?
Here’s a great quote from this article (who is also an online business owner i.e. flexible schedule):
“Let me say the quiet part loud: In the Covid-19 economy, you’re allowed only a kid or a job. Why isn’t anyone talking about this? ………I think it’s because when you’re home schooling all day, and not performing the work you were hired to do until the wee hours of the morning, and do it on repeat for 106 days (not that anyone is counting), you might be a bit too fried to funnel your rage effectively.”
“And I speak from a position of significant privilege. We were, until recently, a two-income family with savings, paying for more than the minimum of child care hours that we needed each day just to cover what-ifs,……..But my family, as a social and economic unit, cannot operate forever in the framework authorities envision for the fall.”
This is the problem…we can’t do this (the burnout mode) forever.
There is hope for a better way though, I am going to get to that. Not only am I doing this now but I have waded through some very tough seasons working fulltime as a mom of four and have some ideas I think will help.
Thank goodness this is finally a topic!
I’ve watched so many of us crawl into our caves of self-sacrifice and just GSD (get $hit done as my girls and I say) through work transition, remote school, extra sanitization and more.
Some charged full steam ahead as long as they could, others retreated and self-survived. Some of us truly just drank a little more and wondered how the days feel so long and short at the same time.
BECAUSE WE ARE ALL CAPABLE OF BRUTE FORCE WORKING THRU SOMETHING FOR A SEASON (pregnancy, infancy, toddlers, teen hormones, bad bosses, midlife crises….. global pandemic + highly tumultuous world was just a new one for all of us). Here we are almost 4 months later with very few answers and no real end in sight.
Pause and ask yourself these quick questions:
- Did you take on too much? Is there room to ask for more balance from the other parent?
Married or not…. I challenge you to not enable a situation where life is being sucked out of you in the name of being a people pleaser.
- Are you really working for the right employer or running the right business for you?
You still have choices….even in this economy.
This topic has so many layers…… relationships, personal growth, life purpose/career choices, societal expectations, gender bias in the workplace.
Where am I finding the hope and the way right now? Yes, firstly, deep cleansing breaths first but there is more than that. There is good news in this and here it is…
There is a way to move forward even given our current situation in life trying to “balance” it all… but Momma, you are going to have to think differently.
These are my “think different” game-changers:
You can have both. Work + Kids.
It is not one or the other – that is a lie. Might just look a little different than it did before. I’m still seeing a lot of professional working moms start their own freelance / contract businesses (the world is already moving this way). You know where to find my resources. Here’s my latest – epic master list of work from home options.
It will take new systems and partnership.
This is a chance to reset your own expectations, systems, goals and focus to level up into a more effective you. Don’t gloss over that. Resetting expectations is HUGE. Leveling up might mean goaling down. Yeah… it’s temporary though! Maybe the goal post gets moved back a bit, we have to be kind to ourselves and our families right now in this season. We aren’t saying no to ourselves but maybe it’s okay to say not yet.
Partnership. This looks different for anyone but it is time to sit down and figure out how to be a good partner AND develop a fair and productive partnership. This can be about more than the other parent. Older kids can get involved here too. A chance to ask them to level up where appropriate is an opportunity for all to grow and help the family in this season.
Let’s all just “do good and be good”.
As a leader (or an employee), it’s a chance to improve company culture and negotiate things like hours, salary, and flexibility that ultimately bring better results in business with happier employees. Not sure staying with your current employer is you best option, check out my blog on 3 Reasons To Quit.
Rest and reset.
We all need to still show up as emotionally intelligent professionals, both for work and for our families. There’s no end in sight to this season so like everything else you’ve figured out as a working mom….. let’s dig in and do this in community with one another. You were never meant to do it alone.
Intentionally rest. I know how hard that can be. I build this into my schedule because it doesn’t happen otherwise. This is different from burning out and not being able to look at the screen for a bit. Intentional rest ensures that we do not burn out on our work or our family. It builds in time to relax and reset so we can take on another week, game face on.
We got this because we have each other and that is the best way forward; together.
Sending the strength to all the working parents out there!!!