Mother- and/or businesshood
Some weeks ago in an interview setting, I was asked ‘how do you manage your daily life: working on your own and having three kids?’
Honestly, that is not an easy-to-answer question, for me personally it has been a long journey. I went through different organizational models, here some milestones:
1) after giving birth to my first child, I left my Italian working place, coming back after 6 months with a 70% Germany based assignment
2) after my second child I was about to be promoted in a group leadership position and returned with 100% which nearly resulted in a burnout and made me step back from my leadership responsibilities working 50% on a ‘smoother assignment’,
3) after my third child I wanted to do things differently and took the maximum of 2 years maternity leave … and started after one year to do projects on my own … afterwards I came back as a 70% internal strategy adviser before I dared the big step – a step I always dreamt of – to start my own business.
There is not One solution to the business & kids challenge, there are many … and none. Some understandings I gathered on my way:
- to follow my heart, not outer expectations. there are so many ‘how you should do’s’ around this topic.
- As a mother, I am not irreplaceable in caring for my kids. especially fathers, but also other well selected people can do a wonderful job and I strongly believe, kids profit from diverse teachers.
- A educational principle does not need to be based on continuous presence or control, I like to give space to a certain self-organization and independency in my kids’ development.
- Children are wonderful teachers in playfulness, foolishness and intuition. It is so good to give space to these parts.
- Time and energy are so limited resources. I always ask myself, what does really matter today?
In daily life, one of my recipes is to combine structure and intuition. I am happy to have a good access to both, although I know for real mastery the wandering between them can still become more fluid. Structure creates routines which make daily life easier. But the more of the Unexpected occur, the more intuition you need. Isn’t it like all maneuvers through complex situations?
Writing down my reflection about mother- and/or business hood I become aware that I often have felt limited in one or the other area by dealing with both … as if the two sides were in competition. What if they just started to collaborate ?! What could this mean in terms of real daily life?
Image source: Huffington Post, Canada, 31st of March 2013