It’s 3 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?
Day #369 — Walking early this am with my friend and enjoying a grand chat about being working moms and how so many of the women at her class reunion were under-employed, under-achieving, and sadly, NOT underweight. Whereas, most of the men had gone on to be business owners, entrepreneurs, C-suite professionals and pretty well turned out.
As she spoke, I felt a pang in the pit of my stomach. I suspected I knew at least one of the reasons why. I think we all do, but tend not to admit it. As mothers, we often choose paths that “park” our professional trajectory because we want to be good mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives. That order of importance switches on a dime based on who needs you the most at the moment.
I know I made choices predicated on the fact that I didn’t want to risk my family stability. I tried to be everything, everywhere, to everyone, all at the same time. And over the years I lost my way. Ending up fat, angry and resentful.
Now that I’m breaking free of those shackles, there is still some Pavlovian shit going on! To a certain extent we both chose to subjugate ourselves for the greater good of our families. But as our nests empty, we agree both we and our children, benefitted by because we kept our careers going. #noregrets
So back to that Pavlov shituation. When she mentioned she still panics every day at 3pm…I grabbed my chest and screamed, “Me too!” That 3’oclock car pool! Running out of the office. Being pressured to quickly return. Or worse yet, being made to feel guilty, or less than, because we left to do it. Though stressful, honestly, it was the happiest part of my day! Sadly sometimes it was the most time I had with my children while they were awake and not cranky.
After considering the sad state of her female classmates, we decided to redefine, or refine our definition of success. Luckily, if we’ve lost our way, we have the choice to crank up our badassery! (Even if we’re still getting these freakin’ kids launched!)
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