Has anyone seen the show Workin’ Moms? It’s a Canadian show, available on the CBC Gem app, and also Netflix in Canada. When I first started watching it, I ugly cried at the end of every episode. It’s a comedy. Just watching moms trying to balance work and momming brought out these horribly conflicted emotions in me.
I’ve often felt like I could never learn to balance the two – like I could only devote myself 100% to my child, and anything I gave to work would be empty and devoid of focus, energy, or passion. However, as I look back over the past 3 years since having Avery, I’ve somehow ALMOST completed an entire PhD dissertation, from writing the proposal to collecting the data, to writing up a document that is hundreds of pages long and quite intense. And I did it with less than 12 hours a week of working time (probably half of those 3 years was spent taking care of a sick kid who couldn’t go to daycare), while the rest of the time I spent actively parenting. It has been such a productive 3 years, now that I look back with hindsight, even though it so often felt like a shit show of UNproductivity while I was living it.
Today I started work (as a subcontractor) for a social research and program evaluation consulting firm that I worked at part time during my Master’s degree. It has been so nice to get my feet wet with some small, upcoming projects. As I look forward to potentially working with them full time, I feel that I could find a way to balance, now. I still don’t want to work 5 days a week (4 days is perfect for me, because home-making is still a valuable job that I love), or take on more projects than I can comfortably handle (why live life stressed out if you can avoid it?), but I’m feeling a little joy and excitement toward using my mind for other things again. Maybe balance isn’t something to be skeptical or disheartened about, but something positive that can bring depth and fulfillment to my life.