Over the last few months I have found myself reflecting a lot about my career and the journey I have taken in life to get to where I am.
Often feelings of frustration come to the surface, I feel that I should have done much more with the time I have had at work over the past 20 years than what I did. I should be higher on the career ladder, earning more, doing more.
Quite often I think about different paths I have taken, whether they were the right ones or not and trying to predict why I chose the path I did. When I reflect I have come to realise that much of the road I have travelled was due to getting permission to do so.
Now I would like to think that I am reasonably assertive and confident in life. But in some instances, I have made a decision based on if someone gave me permission rather than making the decision myself.
Now the decision maker hasn’t realised that they are in this role, and in many cases quite innocently gave advice at times where I needed direction and I took that direction based on their thoughts rather than my own.
Now none of this is particularly bad. I have ended up ok and doing well, however I feel that I need to acknowledge this and try better in the future of trusting my gut, maybe taking a harder road and making the tough choice in order for it to be the right one for me.
I find it particularly hard being a working mother as I always need to ask permission. I always need someone to look after the children whilst I go out and work/play/treat myself. Quite simply if no one is available I cannot actually do the things that I really want to do.
In the early days, it was especially hard to even consider being away from the kids. They were mine, my responsibility – mine and mine alone. I need to be able to do it. I need to be able to be this amazing Martha Stewart mother whilst climbing the corporate ladder.
Let me tell you it is a bloody hard juggle and extremely hard at the beginning. Not wanting to miss anything of the kids and catering to their every whim. But simultaneously not wanting to miss out on work, being there for all the opportunities and not having to say no. In those early days, I didn’t feel I could even ask for permission, I didn’t feel that it was an appropriate thing to ask when my kids where babies. As the kids get older I ask more, I feel more comfortable in having more people around and involved. But it is a steep learning curve and a big adjustment to both me and my family.
There is no moral to this story. Just like you I am still trying every day to balance being a mother and truly giving work my all. It is all still a work in progress, but I no longer want to ask permission.