The other day, my husband and I were having a “discussion” in the kitchen. We were talking about my career. The argument went something like this:
Him: You can do anything you want. You are amazing. You have such skills.
Me: I know
Him: Well, what do you want to do?
Me: I don’t know.
Him: No constraints, what would you do?
AHHHHH!!! Now that’s the point. In his world, there are no constraints. In my world, there are hundreds.
I know that I can do anything. I have skills, energy and enthusiasm. I have started my own small business and I have created a network of women who are helping each other. But I do have constraints.
I know I have a privileged life with the security of his salary and my money not being essential to pay the mortgage. But I do have constraints.
I know that I can’t have that CEO position like I always dreamed of, not without the sacrifices around my children and their childhood. We tried it that way from 2009 – 2015 and the kids went to Breakfast Club then After School Club. They read to me after bath time and with sleepy eyes, kissed me night night. Maybe we had a daily 30 minutes together and as a family – none.
We moved here so we could have a better life. This didn’t mean more money, it meant more time. We do get that time. I teach my kids rugby on a Sunday. He teaches them table tennis on a Wednesday. I collect them from school everyday and I have the summers off with them.
Equally, since moving here, he travels, he gets home late and needs dinner immediately and he hasn’t washed clothes since 2015! What would life be like if there was no one to food shop, stack the dishwasher or ensure trumpet practice happens?
So when he says, “no constraints”, I don’t think he means it. I think he loves his 1950’s housewife.
I am pulled – one way by my career ego and one way by my family and husband. It is important to know what will make you happy and then be clear on how you can get it.
Imagine… a job that I love, that uses my skills and I am passionate about it. Now imagine a career that can be part time and flexible with my life style. How do I get both? It’s something that I’m still working on!
Please comment bellow if you have a similar experience!
by Katy Kennedy
Founder of the International Women in Business Düsseldorf
The International Women’s Network Dusseldorf is a network of women who can help you with some of the more practical parts of being a working mum. We can recommend childcare and nannies as well as afterschool clubs. We can be a shoulder to cry on too as the mummy guilt sometimes kicks in.