I think (and yes it's a large generalisation) that in years and actually generations gone by it was far more simple to have a baby and not have to go back to work. You had a baby or you had a career. You didn't always have to make a choice.
The cost of raising a child to the age of 18 rises each year and with that in mind, many women have no choice but to go back to work in order to contribute to the household income, pushing them back out into the working world. Working mums, but not by choice.
Some women decide not to have offspring. It doesn't make them bad people. If anything it's actually quite a smart move. You get to dote on other people's kids and at the end of the day, you can pass them back over. You can avoid all the tantrums and just have little smiley faces. They also have the benefit of going to work in clothes that have not been re-styled by messy hands and snotty noses. If they have rings under their eyes it's more likely to be from a late night out or a long night at the office. They are career women who made a personal choice not to have children and get to the highest rung on the career ladder.
Of course, there are mum's out there (like moi) who actually wanted to go back to work. I wanted a husband, home, pet dog (we have a cat), children (we are at number 1) and career. Why shouldn't I work? I want to have it all. My parents had their own successful business and I want to emulate that. If they could do it, I damn well can too!
The tantrums are probably nature's way of getting me back for the year's of hell I put my parents through but then there are the smiles, laughs and cuddles that make you forget all of that. I occasionally go to work looking like I've been pulled through a bush backwards, with rings under my eyes and toothpaste on my sleeves or trouser leg. I think it adds to my character. I'm a working mum by choice. I chose to have a child and a career.
Yes, I do feel that I push myself harder now at work and probably spend more time at the office, especially as I only do 4 days a week. Do I feel guilty? No, I actually enjoy it! I love that (I think) I'm doing well, coping with a family, work and a blog on the side. It excites me and makes me want to do more. I do get tired sometimes but then again, so do stay-at-home moms, working moms and career woman.
There are more of us 'baby + career' people out there and boy, do I admire them. There are moms and dads who get up at 5am for a run, get back at 6am for a shower, get the kids ready at 7am, do the school run at 8.15am (or earlier if kids are at breakfast clubs) then shoot off straight to work, leave the office at 5.30/6 pm and then pick up kids from various clubs, minders, family members etc. They still need to sort out dinner, housework, homework and be a wife/husband/partner at the same time. Do I see them complaining? Well, if they do, it's behind closed doors. Single moms and dads are even more amazing!
I found the Baby vs. Career infographic on the Gumtree blog and immediately loved it, reading it with many head nods and mental 'yes's'. Women should never have to choose between baby and/or career as I feel that it is a right that we all have and to be honest, there is never a good time to start a family as that in itself is a bit of a lottery.
Hope you enjoy the read and feel free to share it with other moms out there.
Gumtree infographic baby versus career is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree