The Globe and Mail recently published a post on the reality of working moms: taking maternity leave hurts your career.
When I was in college I took a class called “Gender and the Life Course”. One Wednesday afternoon, a huge debate sparked regarding being a working woman and an exceptional mother. I was left with the realization that you can’t do both. You can be a wildly successful corporate VP, or you can be a go-to-every-soccer-match-and-school-play Mom. As a woman, you can’t have it all. Our professor pointed out that you can do your best to juggle both, but you’ll always be left to feel that you’re never doing both as well as you’d like. You’ll be guilty that you’re not home when you’re working, and when you’re home you’ll be thinking about work.
As a 20 year old, this resonated deeply with me. As a result, I carefully chose my career path. I knew that I needed to be present for my children, but I also realized that I wanted be fulfilled by a challenging job. Choosing to be a therapist allows me both: I can schedule my hours around my family.
In her article, Eichler talks about the benefits of keeping Moms in the workplace. Keep in mind, she’s writing from Canada where a one year maternity leave is standard. But the point is relevant no matter the time you take to raise a child. Did you feel like you lost out in the career/baby decision?