A New Balance
There were cries coming from the backseat as I raced the clock through rush hour traffic. After battling through construction zones and multiple red lights, I made it to my meeting with my five week old son finally settling in for a car seat nap.
When I joined the meeting table a colleague welcomed me with a lighthearted remark, “We start them young now, don’t we?” I’m beginning my second year as a volunteer supporting the work of the United Way and its partner agencies throughout Winnipeg. On this particular evening, I felt so grateful to be welcomed to continue my role in a way that accommodates my family situation. Also grateful that my little guy slept until the last five minutes of the meeting, at which point he announced to the whole room it was time to eat!
This scene is what life looks like for me today, and it's not by chance. When I entered motherhood a few years ago, I took a hard look at what I valued in my career. I realized that something was missing. As I had climbed higher in my profession, I had sacrificed a connection to my community. Fortunately, motherhood gave me a chance to re-evaluate and volunteerism became a greater career goal.
I also recognized that I valued sharing the world of work with my children. Our society tends to separate work from family. Just remember the shock (and hilarity) caused by the toddler who wandered into her father’s BBC appearance. We try to keep up a façade between work and our family lives. But children have so much to gain from exposure to the world of work. And let's face it, it can get pretty exhausting trying to live out our lives and careers in such a compartmentalized way. That's wasted energy that could be used doing great things in the world around us.
I chose to make changes in my career during my current season of mothering young children as a way to break down the façade. I’m finding spaces that enable me to pursue my career in a way that’s true to my values, spaces that welcome me as a mother.
As I get back into business, I’m planning a series of blog posts that tackle the theme of returning to work. Stay tuned for some practical posts on this topic!