I met the coolest women today playing tennis. One was an architect and the other ran non-profit organizations. They both recently gave up their careers to be with their kids full time and were adapting to this new life stage. I was fascinated by their stories and could have spent hours listening to how they made their choices and whether they were happy.
They described how they were still recovering from post traumatic stress. It sounds like they were working so hard to do it all and to be all they could be to their employers, clients, partners and kids and they were now in recovery. They had long commutes and clients that demanded their attention when they were home with their kids. They had nannies they relied on who did things differently than they would have done. They would make it home for a few hours with the kids in the evening, put them to bed and then work again from 10 – 2 am. Is this what they meant by lean in? They must have burned out.
I’m so happy that they have chosen to lean out and catch their breathes again, and were out playing tennis. I’m sure it’s an adjustment period and I’m sure they will find their groove, if they haven’t already. These are smart, strong, beautiful women.
There is a lot of pressure on women to do it all. I’m sure there is a lot of pressure on everyone who works hard, but as a mama, we have double duty and the work doesn’t end.
So my point in writing this, is to acknowledge women and the choices they make and to support one another along our different journeys. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for them to give up their careers, nor is it easy to stay home with kids either. I think it’s important for us to talk about this and that when we choose to work or quit, that it’s ok. I hope they feel supported and give themselves some slack as they figure out their new roles and daily responsibilities and make time for themselves. We are always adapting and changing and the good news is this is just a stage. If we don’t like it, we can change it. Or the kids will grow out of it and we’ll learn something new.