Why Working Moms Can’t Have It All
- June 27, 2012
- by Melissa Lawrence
As much as we would like to, moms can’t have it all. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices and decide between being a full-time employee or a full-time mom. Anne-Marie Slaughter’s cover story on the Atlantic titled “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” covers this entirely, and the story has people buzzing and blogging about being a working mom. Just like Slaughter, I ultimately walked away from my “big girl” job after 10 years of practicing law. I was pregnant with my third child when I made this tough decision, but it was a personal choice that I felt was completely necessary for my circumstances.
Can you be a parent and still manage a job?
On my work days, I barely saw my children. I found it incredibly hard to be working in the office while raising two young children, and the mornings and evenings were complete chaos. My morning routine consisted of nursing my baby and getting food in his belly, taking care of my older child, getting ready for work, and rushing out of the door to go to work. When I came home for the night, it was the exact same thing. I would nurse the baby, cook dinner for the family, get everything ready for the next day, and then collapse on my bed from my tiring day. And then the madness would repeat the following day! Another reason why I chose to leave my job was the breastfeeding aspect. I was very involved in breastfeeding my babies, which was difficult to manage with being in the office. I would pump between meetings and phone calls, and I would run home to breastfeed during lunch, but being physically away from my baby affected my nursing. I know that moms do it every day, but I just felt like I needed to be with my baby while nursing.
My husband and I both had jobs in which we had to work online at night and on the weekends, and during one weekend in particular, we were both working on a deal that took up all of our time. I remember looking at my baby and toddler as they watched Little Maestros videos and thinking that this just wasn’t going to work for me. It was with that experience that I finally made my decision to leave office life, and I haven’t looked back since!
This is such a personal choice for moms (and for dads, too!) and it really varies from family to family based on how much you think you can handle. Do you think you could have it all, or did you have to make a decision similar to mine?