I know what you will think as you start reading this…… not another work/life balance post but it really is something that sadly plays a huge part in so many of our lives that it is something that comes up in my circle often.
This week illness has played a big part in my life (see my previous post) even more so because it looks now like I am anaemic and until that is under control my Doctor doesn’t think I should drive. Now that would be all well and good if I didn’t have to work or ferry the kids about but I have luckily got an amazing support network and can get by (just!)
What about those of us though who simply don’t have that option? A very good friend of mine has this week faced that very dilemma when she was called at work by her daughters nursery and asked to collect her as she had become ill. As many of you school and nursery mums will know some illnesses carry an obligatory time where the child cannot go back to school or nursery. This was one of those times.
My friend like me is a part time worker who works around her very full time husband. I have massive respect for them both as he works many more hours and in another county than my own husband and we struggle so sometimes I dread to think how they juggle it all. There is always that time when work and family life collide and of course a sick child always has to take priority so my friend had to take some parental leave to care for her daughter who was poorly and wanted no one but her mummy.
It sounds like the simplest thing in the world doesn’t it? However then you get the feelings of guilt, the little comments made about how you are needed at work but if there is no other option they will have to stomach it and your internal struggle knowing that you are doing what is best for your family but also feeling bad for leaving others with potentially extra work and the bad feeling that can create. Companies now are so much more understanding than they ever have been before and work/life balance is factored in to almost every human resources policy so why do we still feel inadequate compared to colleagues who don’t have the same commitments we do?
I have mentioned many times in my blog about how women feel that they need to be everything to everyone, amazing wives, mothers, workers, homemakers, organisers, bakers, scientists (anyone else’s boys like making volcano’s?) and we end up feeling that we can’t quite manage. This is so unfair and really it is us being nasty to ourselves. I want my children to grow up knowing that they will never be perfect and can’t be amazing at everything. I want them to learn that with true grit and determination they can do whatever they want in this world however it will never be easy, but lets be honest nothing worth having ever is!
Perhaps the answer in a world full of criticism and judging others is that we should be kind to ourselves. If your child is ill you look after them and comfort them. It is what we parents are meant to do, it is the most important job we have and we need to do it. If work has to come second for a short while so be it and the opinion of others who think differently doesn’t matter, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life!
I want you to smile and know that whoever you are and whatever you are doing you are bloody amazing. Maybe try smiling at someone else today too, you have no idea what they are going through either and you may just make their day!