Can You Have It All?
That’s the question you continue to ask yourself as you run ragged in a million directions. And these days, support is scarce.
Can working from home bring you closer to having it all, despite your family’s needs and your ambitions?
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Episode 18 Transcript
Can we really have it all? Or at least more than we thought? Let’s talk about it.
Hello and welcome to episode 18 of Motherhood Unmasked. Whether it’s you’re first time visiting or you’re a regular, I’m so glad you’re here.
This episode is going to be a little different in that its inspired by an article I came across recently.
For as long as moms have been in the workforce There’s been the question “can moms really have it all?”
Can we exercise our gifts and talents in the workforce, meet the needs of family at home, AND practice self-care?
Because let’s face it, I’ve yet to come across a woman who does all three to her satisfaction—have you?
Most moms working outside the home toss self-care out the window to prioritize career and family.
And even then feel guilty about one suffering at the expense of the other.
So when I came across an article titled Moms Benefit from Working at Home written by a single mother, it intrigued me.
It’s been a long time since I worked outside the home. My oldest was a young infant when I left my career in medicine.
And what I do now as an author and podcaster I do from home.
So, while I’ve heard so much talk in the news and social media about the stress working moms are under these days (and rightly so), it fascinated me to hear of a mom—a single mom at that—finding her groove on all 3 fronts while working from home, and even saying she “ “ feels more alive.
As LeAnn describes it, she spent much of her time at work distracted either by the duties awaiting her at home or the events she missed out in her son’s life.
And her Quality of life was nonexistent with forgoing lunches to volunteer at her son’s school, spending her weekends running errands, and failing to spread her allotted vacation days across 25 school holidays and summer vacation.
Not to mention the life she lost sitting in traffic everyday.
And while leaving her job wasn’t an option she could or was willing to pursue, she dreaded not fully enjoying the years a parent should cherish.
If You work outside the home then you lived that hamster wheel life pre-COVID.
The stress of juggling it all is agonizing and the guilt over dropping the ball is real.
So I wonder if those of you working from home relate to LeAnn?
Do you find you’re better able to manage workouts, laundry, having meals with your family and more, along with maintaining productivity?
Because LeAnn went so far as to say she’s professionally empowered being able to keep up with her child AND her home while satisfying what she calls her drive to succeed.
Now, not only is she a valued employee, her employer has always accommodated her family needs, which isn’t everyone’s story.
Some of you are in careers, like education, medicine and retail that could not offer that flexibility even if they wanted.
And it’s not lost on me that LeAnn does not mention her son’s age and whether or not he’s learning in school face to face or distance learning at home with her.
Because I know from experience, how well you oversee remote learning on top of everything else on your plate largely depends on the age, ability, and maturity of your child.
Pre-COVID, I had the luxury of my kids’ school days to work on projects and run errands.
And in this season of distance learning for my high schoolers and my middle schooler, I mainly stay close for tech issues and to make sure both my kids and their teachers are giving their best effort in light of the circumstances.
So while I don’t know if it’s really possible to “ “ have it all, I would say I have so much more doing it from home base.
But for those of you with younger kids at home or a child differently abled than his peers, I imagine you’re giving our friend, LeAnn, the side eye because your kiddos need much more interaction and supervision to stay on task.
And that makes conference calls and returning emails a real bear.
Yet I think LeAnn brings up a point we can all consider.
There’s a bright side to working from home whether your kids are at home or at school during the day.
And you know what?
It’s two-fold: multitasking in all it’s glory and QUALITY time with our children.
Now, I know there are countless studies on the the negative impacts of multitasking.
But I submit a mother couldn’t have been part of those studies because all weve done from day 1 is multitask.
Can you imagine telling your crying infant to give you a moment while you finish a thought?
And For those of us with the multitasking gene—We get to fully express it.
Managing our tasks with no time wasted.
Laundry underway while holding a meeting as dinner cooks in the oven, and I’m already home to have said dinner with the family at a decent hour.
And speaking of family, the second benefit of working from home is you actually have time to spend with them during the week as opposed to getting home just in time to cram food into them before they go to bed.
And I know what you’re thinking, even if you agree with all I just said there’s the age old issue that it’s typically only moms who feel the burden to manage family and career well.
Women are already underpaid compared to our male counterparts and historically, a working mom requesting to work from home would be frowned upon.
But now that COVID forced men AND women to work from home, maybe employers appreciating consistent, if not improved, productivity along with lower overhead costs will institute more flexible work models going forward.
But even if change in workforce dynamics is slow in coming, I encourage you to find the rose among the thorns as you work from home.
In what ways is it a win for you and your family?
Because no matter where you work, you are the heart of your home and your presence there is invaluable.
If you haven’t been to my website lately, you should check it out for resources to help you structure your time and home as well as nurture your soul.
It’s also where you sign up for the weekly Monday motivation voice message from me.
You’ll find the links to all that vinelifefaith.com/podcast.
I’m really enjoying recording these Mom to Mom in a Minute messages because I’m often I have a knack for saying just what someone needed to hear, and saying it in a message is way more convenient for everyone involved.
I hope you find that to be true when you sign up.
And until next time, remember, when it comes to you being the mother of your children—YOU are the woman for the job! Take care.