Well, if you’re going to start somewhere, may as well make it a big’un.
Today, one of my good friends left my firm. We have worked together ever since qualifying, over 10 years ago. It’s strange to think that I will no longer work with her – she’s been a constant in my professional career.
She’s moved to another job where she can leave work on time, not work on her non-working days, and therefore get to see her kids more.
I completely support her decision to do that.
But I’m not doing it.
Instead, I’m pouring my heart and soul into my career.
Does that make me a bad mother? Hell, I’m not even going to go there.
It’s just me. I love Moo. She’s the centre of my world. But I need my job – my career – too. I need the purpose it gives me. I need the stimulation it gives me. Now, more than ever.
And I’ll be honest, I like the lifestyle it gives me access to, the independence it provides, although that’s not the main reason I do it – I could earn a living wage working less.
I’m a single mum, and I’m in a really privileged position because of my career. And I genuinely do not feel that Moo suffers as a result of it.
She has the stimulation of her nursery, where (although it costs me an arm and a leg and drives me mad regularly) she is settled and happy. She sees her dad daily, my parents and our friends on a weekly basis, and her cousins and grandparents regularly. She has a routine that works for us all, even if she doesn’t really like waking up on those mornings when she goes to nursery.
And she has a fulfilled and happy mum.
Yes, work is stressful. It’s hard. It’s supposed to be. It’s another place for me to grow, to develop, to become the well rounded person I want Moo to become. And I’ll moan about it until the cows come home if given the change.
But it’s also put the spring back into my step in difficult circumstances.
I may always be the we’an to my family (and I wouldn’t have it any other way). But at work, I’m respected as an authoritative voice. My opinion is important, my decisions change things. I influence transactions and mentor colleagues. I make a difference to other lives, and that makes a difference to mine.
So my career and motherhood? I think they go together rather well.