I constantly have these discussions with friends about the feelings of guilt that mothers feel when they make the decision to return to the workforce. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use words to do this topic justice. The balance between being a mother and having a career is so delicate.
When is the right time to return to the workforce? Women struggle with this question all the time, but should we be struggling with it or should we just be able to make the decision and it be ok. I think we place so much pressure on ourselves to be ‘everything’ to everyone and in the process, we forget about what we really believe in and value.
I did a questionnaire with my shrink about values. He asked me to rate 50 values in terms of importance to me. And from the list of 50, to highlight the ones that I felt were my top 6. Do you know how hard that is!! Incredibly hard, at first, but then it all just came together for me and I sat there looking at these top 6 values and thought, hey – not bad Linz. My shrink described it as having your best friend stand up at your 80th birthday and what was it that you wanted them to say about you?
A tough gig! Thinking ahead to your 80th b’day, and then trying to think of what you’d like to be said about you. Ha! I can only imagine the stories my friends would like to tell! Lets’ hope that’s a day I get to one day!
But after looking over all these values, having to narrow it down to only 6, I just gave it a crack, trying not to think too much about it. And these are what I found…
1 – Respect
2 – Creativity
3 – Trust
4 – Love
5 – Humour
6 – Compassion.
So, that’s me – in a nutshell. Well, that’s the ‘me’ I want to be. I believe I hold lots of values close to my heart, but the reason for picking your top 6 is to remind yourself that when you come to making decisions in your life, when you are in a good place, you make these decisions with these values close to your heart. You make tough decisions, like when to return to work, with these values at the center. When you are in a ‘not so great space’ these values are the furthest thing from your mind. And it shouldn’t be that way.
So with this in mind, I look at things in my life with a new light. I make sure I make as many decisions with these values at the center. I look at my relationships with a new light. I have developed so many new relationships lately, and rescued old ones. Like the relationship I have with my Godson. This is a whole new ball game for me. When I was asked to be Hamish’s Fairy Godmother, I was incredibly honored, but frightened at the same time. The fear came from not having any religious beliefs myself and questioning whether or not I was the right person for this job! After being reassured from my dear friend, that it was more of a spiritual guidance, hence the ‘Fairy Godmother’ title… I felt a lot more comfortable. But wow, what an honor. To be able to share this with little Hamish, who smiles so brightly every time I hold him. What a joy! I want to make sure he knows me and sees me as someone who acts with my values clearly worn on my sleeve.
I want my own son to know this. To know that his mum was always full of compassion and respect. That I loved him to no end and that I always tried to find the humour in life. I want him to be the one that stands up at my 80th birthday to tell the funny stories of his mum. I want him to stand up there and be proud of me.
And for my husband, I want him to be standing by me at my 80th birthday, with a gentle smile on his face, saying to everyone that wants to listen that the reason he loves me so much, is because of these values.
So, as I embark on a new level of crazy next year as I return to work, I will endeavor to keep these values close to my heart. To make them a part of each move I make in this game of life. There is no room for guilt. I will not allow ‘guilt’ to be a guiding value in my life. It’s not worth it. There’s no place for it. If I can live my life in a balanced way, doing the best job I know how, then guilt will have no space! I’m sure I’ll make mistakes along the way, but that’s how we grow and learn isn’t it. I don’t want to be perfect, I just want to be me.
These Days are My Days xx Linz