Last week saw the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, a day created to focus on the goal of equality for women. So, 100 years after International Women’s Day was founded, have we really reached that goal?
I am a woman in my mid-twenties, married and with three beautiful children. I have a job that I love, and feel blessed that I can work with the flexibility to allow me to be there for my children when they need me. In fact, I almost feel guilty.
For many this is an impossible dream.
Many women have talents and gifts that are hidden under a bushel the moment they have children. I look around at my friends, and despite the fact many of them had careers before they became mothers, the ones who have returned to work are in the minority. Why is this?
The demands on parents who work are substantial; children get ill, school hours are considerably shorter than office hours and there are always long school holidays to contend with.
Our children are precious and should be nurtured and loved by those caring for them. As a mother that is my most important job. But, I love to work and need to do so for my sanity! Should one come at the cost of the other?
Guilt is something mothers do very well though: guilt if we’re not there for our children, and guilt if we’re not performing as well at work as we should be.
I feel very fortunate that I have a job that allows me to fulfill both of my roles, without one adversely affecting the other. In my circle of friends I well and truly feel like I am the one that is having my cake and eating it, and feel guilty that my talented, experienced friends can’t find similar opportunities.
I work evenings, weekends and early mornings to enable me to be there for my children, and I know for certain that many women would do the same if only the flexibility were available to them. Unfortunately, it isn’t, and for now their talents are lost.
So, can women really have it all? I have, but the same guilt that fills me with that extra large slice of chocolate cake comes when I talk to my friends about the job that I love.