Kids and Careers: Words of a Working Mum - Linsey Fuqua
Linsey Fuqua shares her thoughts on balancing a working life with raising a family.
Being a working mum is tough! I for one, just left a job of two years (part time with occasional weeks at full time) and struggled to keep on top of everything. Remembering things and being efficient at work is a nightmare when your head space is crammed with where your children need to be at certain times, worrying about them being ok and making sure they are up to date with all school work and so on.
As supportive and helpful as my lovely husband is, he's a man and his mind operates entirely different from mine so I find myself also factoring in the meals, the cleaning and the scheduling of our calendar events as well as remembering the birthdays of family and friends! Phew - even typing this makes me tired!
I was pregnant with my second baby when I went for a job interview (we needed the extra income). I got the job but not wanting to hold back too long, I explained that I was pregnant to my male boss on my first day. He did not take it well and I believe we got off to a bad start. I tried very hard to claw my reputation back and to be the best employee I could be, I even went back to work after only 2 months maternity leave to show my commitment to my job. Trying to earn a crust for your family has its pressures and eventually the strain got too much for me and I left it in to run the daily life at home and be there for my girls - my priority. I now have the advantage working from home and can pursue a career using the skills I went to university for. It's still busy but I have more control over my time.
If I could go back to before I had children, the piece of advice I'd give myself would be to establish myself in a job first for a few years before thinking about starting a family.
Equality is better in the workplace than ever before as there are some women who seem more career minded than maternal and are high achievers in the working world. For those who battle with their maternal side but need the extra income it can be more of a personal debate experience and stressful. It's an old fashioned way of thinking but I do believe the mental/ biological 'hardwiring' of men and women is different and that generally we cope better in our 'stigmatised' roles. For example, without kids I might be able to focus better when working!!
There are many dads who do a great job caring for their children. Despite it all, there's a lot to be said for one parent to be able to be at home and one parent to be at work to spread the load equally no matter which way around, but I guess in a consumers society two incomes usually always out way practicality.