One of the benefits of pregnancy is that wide awake hour in the middle of the night – perfect for ponderings on everything from possible baby names to where is my career going and how does it fit in with my expanding family.
It’s this last point that I’ve been musing, having read this article last week. It ties in with a discussion I had with my maternity coach* about parallel career paths and my concerns about balancing the demands of the current market with my desire to spend some time at home with my family.
I’ll admit it, I garner a great deal of satisfaction from my job – not just the satisfaction from doing a job well, but also the enjoyment of adult conversation and the pleasure from using my brain and the expertise I’ve learnt over the last decade.
I do worry however, that I’ve shut off the option of spending more time in my Mummy life, that my resolute commitment to my work has led me down a one-way street I cannot get out of and that I have closed off the options of working one day less a week and the benefits that would bring. Is it wrong of me to want to spend more time with my daughter ? Is it wrong that I would adore to take her swimming, to spend time with her outside of the ratty hour before bed that I can sometimes steal away from work, to be able to concentrate on having fun together without the usual weekend list of chores hanging over our heads ?
And yet there is a worry that I have a rose-tinted, grass is greener view of life in the Mummy track. The worry that actually I would find full time with my daughter perhaps less fulfilling than my work life despite all its stresses, the worry that I may turn out to be a less than capable mother if needed all the time and most importantly the worry about how the balance of my relationship with Mr MaM. How resilient is our relationship ? Would it cope with a dramatic change to the balance of responsibility that has always had its foundations in both of us working, both of us striving for success and promotion, both of us accepting the limitations that come with a City career ?
And so, as with all of the best ponderings, I find myself unable to reach a conclusion but look forward to the hours in the middle of the night where I can gradually find a balance, a solution or at least an acceptance of where I am and perhaps, if I’m lucky, a path to where I want to go.
*a wonderful one-on-one service my employer provides to all senior women embarking on a period of maternity leave. I admit I was initially sceptical but I’ve found it incredibly helpful in helping me create some sort of tentative work/life balance and being a little kinder to myself about the choices I’ve made and those that have been imposed on me