In a nutshell, no.
I don’t believe that women can have it all – believe me, I’ve tried.
It’s a big balancing act, but however hard we try something has to give.
And being a single mum makes life just that little bit more … interesting, lets say 😉
Life is all about choices.
I chose not to go back to what I did BC (Before Child) as I wanted to enjoy every single precious moment of his baby/toddler hood. It was my choice. I was lucky in that I was not reliant on having to go back to work, as I had enough ‘rainy day’ budget in the funds (in my own right, not Mr Wrong No. 2) to be able to just about afford to.
Obviously, like with all rainy day funds they dry up eventually and when that time came I searched around to find something that would fit around SC, school holidays, etc. Now I know jobs like these are as rare as hen’s teeth, so I chose to invest in a franchise.
It seemed like a good potential – something different to the norm, work my own hours around SC.
But in trying to juggle getting a business off the ground (especially in the current economy), looking after SC, and doing all the other things that I do – 3 years on I find my self reflecting that I have failed to do anything anywhere near as perfect as a superwoman should be able to manage. (Obviously then I realise that I don’t have a nanny, a PA, a cleaner, a personal shopper, etc to do all these things for me, whilst I just go off and get manicured, coiffured and spray tanned!)
SC has remained the top of my priority list and therefore I have not put as much effort into building a business as I should. Failure on the good job front!
The effort I have put into building some business has meant that SC has not had me around as much. Failure on the happy family front!
The lack of business means that I worry about just about everything pretty much 24 hours a day. Failure on the stress front!
Buying a franchise, especially those that target mothers who want to work around their children, should really have a warning notice attached saying “this is only suitable for women with a husband who only need a little bit of extra income, and not those looking to make a living out of it!”.
And I’m deadly serious about that. In the network I belong to I would stake that not one of the women working takes home anything near enough to put food on the table, pay a mortgage and bills, plus all the other things having children comes with, let alone buying clothes for themselves!
My priority is SC and the need to provide for him.
I am therefore faced with a dilemma.
I need to provide a secure future for him, the only way I can see me being able to do that is to go back to what I did do – always supposing I can get back into it. But by doing this, I will not be able to do the school run, or take him to his after-school activities, or the other mummy things that get done during the week. Failure on the being a good mummy front!
If I continue with what I am doing I will not be able to provide for him. Failure on every front imaginable!
So no, women can’t have it all.
You end up being a jack-of-all-trades but master of none!