|A working mom and daughter|
While they are embarking on a new entrepreneurial venture, each of them is a hands on mom and has allowed motherhood to become her primary responsibility while her kids are young. It got me thinking about how this traditional, yet modern, approach to motherhood plays out for a variety of women in an age where Sheryl Sandberg and others place great pressures on working mothers to "lean in" to their careers.
If you are a working mom. I give you permission not to lean in, unless you want to.
I Work Full Time, And My Kids are My Priority
I confronted this topic before in a prior piece, but it it is a timeless conflict. Balancing a career with motherhood is a tremendous challenge. the challenge only increases with the number of children you have. When I had one child, I felt like I was doing a decent job. With the addition of the second baby, and a major renovation project, I still manage to get my work done. I have to. However, I have lost a great deal from a personal perspective. I have forgotten what free time even means. I have also not been gunning for my next position. I am fine, and blessed, to work the job that I have had for the past four years (a promotion from my prior one). I definitely wouldn't say that I am "leaning in".
When I am not at work,and not on call, I am focused on my kids, completely. I am not plotting for my next move or contemplating my ascension to CEO. Instead, I am coasting and mothering. It feels right to me. And it is the best I can do right now.
Since I am simply living my life and making the choices that feel right to me, I can't tell you how the tale will end. What I can tell you is that right now I am doing is working incredibly hard to get everything done. I don't have the energy to "lean in".
Articles of Interest by Working Moms Who are not "Leaning In".
This whole conversation about balancing work and life and closing the gender gap was being framed by highly ambitious women. And I am not that ambitious.
This writer asks an important question: "Work-life balance debates focus on the most hard-driving. What about women (and men) like me?" Sheryl Sandberg suggests that lack of ambition is a character flaw. However, what if it were merely a choice???
STEM is a tough field for women. Here's some advice posed in this article, "Maybe that's the best advice for women now, they say: Instead of "Lean In," you might call that approach to obstacles, whatever they are, "Lean To The Side, And Let It Pass By."