Why Being a Working Mother is Like Eating Tapas

Baby and me

Baby and me

How many times have you been told that the modern woman can “have it all”? I’m here to tell you, you can’t. Anyone who says you can is either kidding herself or has a very different definition of “all” than I do. You know what I’m talking about; it’s one of the most common dilemmas for women today: career vs children.

Feminism and the women’s liberation movement have given us so many options that I sometimes feel like it would be easier to go back to being oppressed. At least when women had so few rights, they didn’t have to put unrealistic expectations on themselves. In many cases, they simply accepted that their lot in life was to raise children and look after their husband and household. Sounds gleefully uncomplicated, doesn’t it? (Note: I didn’t say easy.)

I being facetious; I don’t actually want to be a post-war housewife. But I never expected to feel so conflicted about motherhood.

My pregnancy was unplanned and came as quite a shock, even though in the back of my mind I’d always believed I’d eventually find the right time to have children. And in retrospect, it was probably for the best that it happened of its own accord, because there never was a “right time”.

So, despite being unsure I was ready, I took a deep breath and stared into the face of impending motherhood. For the most part, I was excited and looked forward to life with our new family member, but there was a niggle in the back of my mind that I really wished wasn’t there: the one that told me I was “giving up” and turning my back on my career, which I worked hard to develop.

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