I have now been back to work for a month from my second maternity leave. Well, I have never felt more energised and ready to do, work, be committed, pull pieces together, prioritize and be ready to throw enthusiasm into new and old projects, at home and at work.
I now have one of those fitness trackers which tells me what my husband and I have known all along. We do not sleep enough, it is probably safe to say that we have not had in the past three years more than 3/4 straight hours of sleep. And yet somehow we, as spouses, professionals and parents have never been more on top of our life. We have learnt to make friends with stress and exhaustion, find energy, make "miracles" happen, work full days then once home bath, feed the kids, play and put them to bed, maybe work some more or catch up with our private and social life, then carve a pumpkin (or a turnip for our first Räbeliechtli!). What is incredible is that like us, hundreds of colleagues and friends are running the same silent marathon.
Once again questions are asked. "Don't you work too much? Where do you find the time and the energy? Are your kids going to be OK with you not being there most of the day?" Typically these questions are asked to me (a "working mum").
I will elaborate another time on the answers. What is clear to me is that as parents and as professionals, it is about having the choice, it is about doing in the best possible way whatever it is that we are good at, and it is about feeling satisfied with our lives.
A few weeks ago the genius #manwhohasitall hashtag hit a nerve with his (her?) twitter posts targeting the endless amount of advice given to working mothers "about "how to have it all" with 'all' meaning happy kid, successful careers, great hair, healthy diets, immaculate wardrobes, the perfect beach body, good girlfriends, a supportive husband and a pristine house. But what if we applied the same type of inane language we use when discussing women in the workplace to men?"
No wonder the pressure is on for many women. Over and over in all the diversity conversations, events, studies I have heard of, the topic "self-confidence in women" has been indicated as one key trait to perform and stay on top of their lives, careers, etc. At some point early in life, we build a reserve for a life of self-confidence. Families, social surroundings and corporate life have a deep effect on the amount left by the time a woman can thrive in business and private life. This 60 million youtube views video from Procter & Gamble goes straight to the point. Enjoy. #likeagirl.