Guilt is one of the barriers a mother working faces in being able to have life balance. Whether you are a 'Lean In' or 'Lean Out' mother ultimately there are only so many hours in the day, and one of the solutions is to outsource. We can either feel like we have no guilt, but drown in looking like we can do it all, or have life balance and know that the decision suits your family. The only important answer is for your individual family circumstance.
This could be difficult if you come from a heritage of your mother did the running of the house, and a great job bringing up the children. However, demographics have changed.
- The distance in extended families
- The career development of females
- The sheer amount of red tape, and chores that have increased each century
- Distance in Extended Families
Both my husband and I live no where near our parents. My Mum now has to travel within on continent to see 2 grandchildren, and to another continent to see her 3rd. That is the nature of a global village, and migration. However, that means as a mother working the support structures in place disappear. Any guilt you had let someone else have that. Your life is your life, if you need a third pair of hands then by all means grab it: a cleaner, gardener or au-pair. From the day we hired an au-pair we never looked back on the focused time I have for the kids and family. There may be restrictions financially so options need to be assessed, but if it is financially viable it is worth it's wait in gold.
Career Development of Females
On one of my last visits my Mum said 'I never realised how hard you worked.' I was working from home in the office, and I think she saw me maybe pee once that day, and quickly make a nutri-bullet soup! That week I ensured as ever I was there at dinner, bath and bedtime, but due to crazy deadlines she saw my 14 hour days. Whilst it is not always like that, there are peaks and troughs. One thing is clear it was not the reality of my Mum's world when I was growing up.
There are no extra hours in the day, no one can magic a 30 hour day. The only learnings that I have applied is to: eliminate unnecessary activities, prioritise, outsource (guilt free) and automate.
Red Tape and Chores
Seriously the worst thing is the mail box why in 2016 is there still so much paper, even if you register for 'E-statements, bills...' There are still those tasks that a 'Must Do's' and have consequences like: taxes, bills, and the un -outsourced chores. When we surveyed mothers they wanted support with red tape, and this is in my goal to support other mothers working.
If you're a mother who has guilt ask what makes sense for my family. If you're a mother judging another mother as is that my family. If the answer is 'No' then focus on the answer to your family, and not others.