We are expected and pressured to do our jobs as if we don’t have children. We are also expected and pressure to raise our children as if we don’t have jobs.
The ideal employee is someone who can drop everything and go on a business trip at a moment’s notice or who can stay late, that doesn’t have any personal needs that require time away from the office.
The ideal parent is supposed to sacrifice everything for his/her child. They can be at school within a 10-15 minute time frame every time the phone rings. It never ceases to astound me that my child’s school is surprised every time they have called me to find out that both me and my husband work. Most families need both parents to work in order to afford a home, food and clothing.
It is impossible to juggle daycare and demanding clients, sick kids and business trips without compromise. No wonder so many parents are plagued by increasing anxiety, guilt and depression. Many parents suffer quietly believing that if they were more organised, more focused, more determined, they could have it all. The truth is that you can’t be absolutely everything to everyone at all times.
The solution cannot be to ask people to either have jobs and never become parents or to become stay-at-home parents. That’s not a sustainable solution. It’s also very silly and wrong to say that having children is a luxury for the rich who don’t have to work or can afford live-in help.
Do you even remember what contentment feels like? I sure don’t.