i simply smiled & said that i did things that bought me joy, cared for my 2 boys, had an international man of mystery as a husband (think more austin powers than james bond) & that life was pretty fulfilling enough without working fulltime.
we had a short discussion about how great it is to be a part of my childrens lives & manage a bit of a career in between. it got her thinking she said. she had never thought that being a part time obstetrician was an option. i know several great female obstetricians who do just that & for who money is not the untimate goal & that family is very important. you could see the light bulb go off above her head. i told her just to think outside of the square & be confident if you want something, you can make it work.
then about 20 minutes later, i felt a little guilty.... for a moment, i actually felt selfish for having time for friends & coffees, sewing & craft & a bit of lazing about.
then i kicked myself....hello girl! i have had 2 boys who i adore & will be out the door within years....or maybe not according to current stats! i have been around for school drop offs & pickups, tuckshop, classroom help, when they are sick, i know their friends & their friends' mums, they talk to me about private stuff & even girls.... i have worked shift work for over 20 years - shit that is bloody tiring i tell you. i cook & clean & make nutritious snacks...yes & the cakes & muffins too but at least i know what is in them.
for anyone that doesn't have kids, these tasks have no real time value. i used to be the same. i used to think....why are these colleagues bothering to come in here 2 days a week. they are mere weekend warriors. what are they really giving? yes & i even admitted to thinking it to the current fulltimers.
well the first thing i got as a mother was perspective people. everything suddenly got put into its place of priority. in my never ending sleep deprived state, work was not the major focus of my life. i realised i was replaceable at work. i just got it & i was humbled.....
now, when i look around me at work. here is what i see.
- the young & fearless gen-y who are totally ignorant of the pitfalls of the ladder climb & the responsibilty they crave...they have balls & live in a state of ignorant bliss - i remember being there with my balls. i do. there are some in this group who are just biding their time for something easier to come along...
- the older near-retirement totally over it all ones who are worn out from too many years of shift work & not looking after themselves...& maybe not getting enough sex...just a thought.....like i'd really know!
- and my group in the middle - the part timers who want some work-life balance &/or are gradually increasing their hours at work as their kids grow....& we are tentatively stepping on that ladder again...but we are pissed because we seem to be doing all the freakin work! we are growing balls again though & we are wise souls who should not be underestimated. trust me, if you can wrangle a toddler & survive it, you can fucking do anything!
never feel guilty for having perspective & priorities people.
and before i get any complaints, i know it is every woman's right to be what she wants to be ie full time mum/part time mum/single mum/full time worker mum etc....personally i chose what suits me & my little family. that's all....