Halleluyah. An article about mothers who work outside of the home that doesn’t focus in on the so-called “mommy wars” about SAHMs and WOHMs. One that doesn’t force our hand in the “lean-in” debate. One that doesn’t say that you can’t have a rewarding career without giving up a lot at home, and vice versa.
Instead, the New York Times article last week, entitled, “Coveting Not A Corner Office, But Time At Home” describes my ambition to a tee. I want a rewarding career, one in which my work is valued and I enjoy my organization’s mission and think my colleagues are interesting, dynamic, complex people with whom to work. I want some modicum of recognition for a job well done, and for a career with a long trajectory of relative success.
But I don’t want any of it to come at the expense of my family life. My home, with my spouse and children within its four walls, is the sanctuary of my world. I love those four people more than anything else, and their happiness, well-being and success is one of my key objectives. I want to be there as much as I can to enjoy their company, make them dinner, accompany them to their various activities, and cheer them on when they play soccer or field hockey, or win an award, or need a shoulder to cry on, or fail a test, or take a big step in their own ongoing life stories.
I am one of the most fortunate people I know, because I have found a way to have both. Between my more than a decade of consulting work, and now, with a flexible and family friendly office and an understanding supervisor and staff, I have been able to carve out a work life that gives me what I need in the office, as well as supports my need to take care of my family. It almost never asks me to choose between the two.