In playgrounds everywhere moms can join the great debate of staying at home with children vs. returning to work.
For many women the choice can be painful and gut-wrenching and feel like an all or nothing decision.
But does it have to be?
Most moms will agree – a happy mom means a happy child. And part of that happiness is the ability to balance the needs of children and family with a professional identity.
But let’s face it, it can be tough to ‘have it all’ – maintaining a hands-on approach with multiple children (especially while they are young) teamed with a demanding career can be tricky to balance on the best of days.
My fondest memory of having it all was the day that my four year old dropped my only set of car keys in my husband’s brief case just before he headed off to Montreal.
As I did the daily 8 a.m. relay to dress and feed three kids under four prior to ‘heading off to the office’ my four year old proudly reported that she had put my keys in Daddy’s briefcase.
Our entourage comprised of one stressed out late mom scheduled to present to 30 people at 9 a.m., a somewhat shell-shocked nanny who might have been accused of putting the car keys in the wrong drawer, three terrorized children who witnessed a professional woman in stilettos become unglued hit the streets at a pace that would rival most power walkers.
As we said our good-byes on the street corner and I wiped the sweat off my brow before I hoped on the bus that would take me to the subway station, heart pounding all the while at a record rate; a woman next to me on the bus turned and said “you’re so lucky, you look like you have it all”.
Oh I had it all – alright. I had so much that I thought I might need to lie down when I finally did get to the office and learn that the 30 people who had been waiting for over 10 minutes decided to go back to their offices and cancel the presentation.
I can remember thinking on this perfect spring day – there must be another option to ‘having it all’.
So what are the options?
Did I have to trade in my stilettos for flip flops to find peace and serenity or would I create some other form of calamity in my somewhat unbalanced life. Did I need to make an all or nothing decision.
And this is question that served as inspiration for the launch of a new and innovative recruiting firm called workharmony.
workharmony specializes in non-traditional recruitment for mid to high level professionals (which means contracts, project work, or maternity leave replacements, plus permanent part-time) aimed at providing professionals with “flexible employment”. In essence providing a solution to the work/life balance debate.
Together with my partner Kristina Pearce we will be joining the urbanmoms panel of experts to provide monthly views on balancing a career with children and family as well as weighing in on various work/life topics to help you ‘have it all’.
Deborah Meek left her high profile position at Ogilvy and Mather, an international advertising agency to start an innovative recruiting firm called workharmony. workharmony specializes in non-traditional recruitment for mid to high level professionals across a broad spectrum of industries. Visit Deborah and Kristina at workharmony.ca.