Monday, June 23, 2008

Ask questions

The questions have started flowing.... comments on this blog, emails, a few phone calls, a coffee or two...
There are No Dumb Questions. Our careers are a big part of our lives and there is never a point at which you can't discuss: "what should I do?" "how can I do this?" with your community.
I'll do my best to answer the questions as they come in.

Today's was a real poser. It is something on which I would love to hear your opinion:

What comes first - your child/children or your career?

Here's my initial thoughts:
You are the best example of what a woman can do in this world that your child/children will have. And sometimes that will mean showing her/him that you value yourself. That could mean taking time for yourself, that could mean allowing yourself to pursue a career, that could just mean a bubble bath with no interruptions.
And each day you will make and remake the decision.
If the art of being a parent is flexibility, then allow the same ebb and flow for yourself.
My kid is always in my top 2 priorities...but sometimes to bring him a stronger mom... he's number 2 for a few hours.
He's never been excluded from my career or my friends or my life - he's part of my every breath - but we're in this together vs. the tradition sacrificial role of motherhood.
My child is part of my community and I honour him as a light and centre of my life. However, I must also honour myself and part of who I am is ambitious and hungry to learn and sometimes we must be apart for me to pursue this.

Your thoughts?


Kendra said...

Thanks, it soothed me a bit this week!

karen said...

Why are we so obsessed with "either/or" and "top one" or even " best friend"? Imagine standing in a room full of people who have just thrown you a suprrise party and then being asked to sort them into order from best to worst. Remember Sophie's Choice? pick which kid? ... its barbaric to imply we should ever have to choose in this way. Personally, I reject the forced limitation this concept implies about the size of my heart and the breadth of my life - there is room for all of it. To be sure, we must make practical choices every day ... which meeting to go to, which kid to drive to their lesson, whether to schmooze at the networking dinner with VIPs or go to the school dance recital. You make those choices by weighing what's important in the moment and over the long term, knowing that both the moment and the long term exist. I don't beat myself up over one individual choice, and don't assume your employer will judge you on that kind of one off basis either. Your values and your performance are reflected over the course of your whole life. The balance you strike over time reflects the richness of your environment and the multi-faceted self you bring to the whole picture. So don't subdivide yourself and assume you must force rank your values - instead, relax!, and engage your whole self in every moment. Everyone around you will experience the richness of you along with yourself.

Stephanie said...

Great answer Dennie. Like so much in life, it is a balance rather than an absolute. And the decisions on what the balance should be are constantly revisited!