As a young person, and at the beginning of my career, naïve to anything related to adulthood I would confidently state “Of course not, silly”. Women take a proud step back to carry, bear and rear little ones… Heck, at this point in my life I contemplated pregnancy as a way of getting OUT of work! Public practice will do that to ones’ soul. Needless to say, I was accepting and inviting of this next phase.
Act 2: Industry. Apart from the lies of inflated salaries, work-life balance and sheer awesomeness we were told about industry positions at the Firm, it wasn’t that bad. I guess. To be completely honest, it was after 3 months in industry when I realized what I wanted to be when I grew up… Anything but an accountant! So there’s that. But there was also the exposure to some powerhouse females, one in particular, who seemed to be exhibiting traits of “having it all”. Was she a unicorn? It was her – A VP title, full 1 year mat leaves, supportive husband & a ridiculous work ethic, that made me realize – YES, you can have it all… Just not at the same time. A small, but doable caveat.
Adulthood… Barely, the jury is still out. Without Babies on my Brain, I made a simple but significant adjustment in my career – I became a contractor (Insert chorus of George Michaels Freedom here). I had the opportunity to choose the hours I worked. At first I walked through the halls of our office like a mouse, barely spoke, afraid that someone would realize that I had a sweet deal, and snatch it away. This contractor gig took me through both of my pregnancies and the birth of both of my sons. I kept a steady 25-30 hour work week before each kid was born and went back after 10 & 6 weeks postpartum, at a cool 8-15 hours until they hit their famous First Birthdays. Even though the babies were small in the beginning (most are), it was sincerely a treat for me to put some make-up on, drive to work listening to loud old-school rap because why not, have coffee at my desk surrounded by adults, and accomplish challenging tasks 2 days a week. It was nothing short of dreamy. It was then I realized – I HAD IT ALL (preach sister) and what “it” was, was Balance.
When my youngest was 6 months old, I joined Recruitment Partners – A partnership that truly took a chance on my need for Balance, and recognized that although I’m a new mom, I wasn’t scorn with a scarlet M, and unattractive to market. As a Mother there is a true opportunity cost of being at work – Not being at home with your little pieces of sunshine. It’s an intangible, immeasurable cost so it BETTER be worth it! So make it worth it – Work your tail off, be organized and make it fun!
In my world, and opinion – Staying home with the kids full time was a sacrifice to my career, being employed full-time was a sacrifice to my kids and trying to juggle both effectively was a sacrifice to ME! Hey, I only have one life too! In closing to all the Employers out there – Take a chance on New Moms and modified work-arrangements; it will attract a new pool of great talent, and you might be pleasantly surprised with our motivation to be effective in our short weeks! To the New Moms out there – Be creative, don’t be scared to ask for what you want and try your hardest at whatever Balance works with your life. You might just get it all.
Shout out to my great kids that are better off with multiple caregivers, and my amazing husband who is also a “new Dad” and chooses a modified work arrangement to stay in our testosterone filled home with the Boys when I stay a little late to have a drink at the office #kiddingnotkidding
Snober Bains, CA (and wannabe Life Coach)