I was offered a job recently. I wasn’t looking for a new job but it came to me and I was willing to investigate it. It sounded amazing. It was a great opportunity for me to grow and gain new skills. The company is well known and progressive.
Yet, I had an extremely difficult time deciding if I was going to take the position or not.
The first question that came to the top of my head was if this new role would allow me to keep a good work-life balance.
My kids were at the top of my mind.
Would this new job be so demanding that it would take me away from my family? Would I have to work a lot of overtime? Would I have to travel excessively?
I found myself wondering if men question themselves like this when new opportunities come up. Do they question if they will have to travel or miss the occasional sports game? Do they wonder if they will be so mentally exhausted from their job that they aren’t able to fully focus when they get home?
I asked the question on social media; If I want a career does that make me a bad mother? If I choose to stall my career for my family does that make me less ambitious?
The response I got told me that I am not the only one facing this problem.
Women who choose to stay home worry. They may worry that they aren’t providing enough financially for their family or that their daughters aren’t seeing them work. Or maybe they worry that once their kids are up and out they are going to have a hard time reintegrating to the workforce.
Working mothers worry that they aren’t around enough for their families, that their children will resent them for not being able to volunteer at their school or attend school trips. Many working mothers spend their careers torn between advancing their careers and being able to spend enough quality time with their families.
These are choices and struggles that every mother faces.
Yet, why have I never had any working mother offer to guide me or mentor me through the difficult years of working with a young family? Why has no other woman who has walked this path before me talked me through it? Why are we so unwilling to help other women rise up?
I decided to take the job. I decided it was too good an opportunity to turn down. I decided it was absolutely ok for me to invest a little in myself—the person, not the mother.
More importantly, I have decided that part of my responsibility as a working mother is to mentor other women. I am on a mission to help other women in business rise up, to help them grow and develop.
Because if I can help make this path just a little smoother for even one other woman then I have accomplished something.