Can we really have it all? Career, full on earth motherhood, wife etc etc the roles and titles just go on. As a Mum and a careerist, I often contemplate whether we can truly have ‘it all’ and be happy in our work/life balance. Nothing is perfect for sure, but is it a myth that’s pumped into us from a young age (shout out to Disney) that women can indeed nowadays can have a great long career at the same time as having a young growing family?
Perhaps it’s the image we are fed of ‘having it all’ as the problem. We should be free to paint our own image of what family and career success means to us. It’s easier said than done and I’m still understanding, shaping and defining my own definition of success in this area.
With childcare infrastructure and pricing in the UK one of the most expensive and archaic systems, there are huge challenges presented to parents that need childcare support to be able to go back to work and carry on with their careers post children. Unless you are fortunate enough to have a nanny 24/7 or family support nearby, this really makes going back to work very tricky indeed – a constant juggling act.
Being self-employed my days of working can change from week to week, making it almost impossible to plan-ahead in advance childcare arrangements. They often change last-minute and opportunities arise at the last second, which you can’t always re-schedule. These considerations did not ever enter my mind before starting a family.
In my experience the current childcare system is not fit for purpose. There is also a disconnect between employers and childcare providers – employers are only really just starting to accept ‘flexible’ working as being an option for parents (unlike our progressive Nordic counterparts) and childcare is just too expensive and often rigid in its operating hours and pricing models. On a positive note, it’s great to see fellow ‘Mumpreneurs’ setting up forward thinking companies like Flexperience (www.flexperience.co.uk) – a recruiter in the Cotswolds solely for flexible roles, hallelujah!
Thoughts on a postcard…