Balancing Motherhood and Work? The most difficult life experience.
Hey hey, welcome back! In case you missed my last blog post – you can find it HERE! It was a general post with comments from Moms who gave us their tips on how they survived working and parenting and trying to find that elusive ‘balance’ or solution for balancing motherhood and work.
I want to add something here before launching into my own personal experience of balancing motherhood and work.
In America a recent study showed that working Moms with 2 kids suffer 40% more stress than Moms with only one. This stress is demonstrated in the form of anxiety and depression thereby increasing the risk of suicide as well as PTSD.
I was 27 years old when I had Emma which was an experience I will never forget (you can read about my miracle baby over HERE!). At the time I was in the process of completing my PhD and having a baby wasn’t something I had planned right then and there. But G-d clearly had these plans for me and I don’t argue with G-d. So there I was finishing my PhD with a newborn baby who honestly spent 70% of her time crying and I probably did the exact same thing. I remember just sitting on the couch some days in my pj’s crying and at lunch time I was in the same position still crying….
It was tough! I actually don’t even know how I got it all done! And as she grew older, due to our finances, I had to find a job. Luckily I did my post-grad at Tygerberg Hospital but OMG the hours were so long. I always felt like I was missing out on being her Mom! I rushed out the door before she was awake and came back home when she was asleep but at the time I had no choice. I treasured the weekends when I didn’t work so I could spend time with my family.
During those first years as I started my career I worked so hard! I was focused and driven on becoming an International renowned research scientist in my field (Tuberculosis). I travelled to the UK and the US quite frequently. I was presenting posters and actually even doing some public speaking – yip me!!
Luckily Emma’s dad was flexible so he could look after her and for that I am grateful. Blow me down G-d had another plan for me because within 23 months to the day I had my 2nd child another girl – Tarryn Ashley. And the juggling really was insane. The sleepless nights took their toll on me, I was always exhausted and by that I mean ALWAYS! I started work at the hospital at 6.00 so I could leave by 4.00 in the afternoon but it never worked out like that. I had new responsibilities as I was given 10 honors students and I was asked to do lecturing. I loved my work.
Do you see my dilemma? My career was just starting and I felt like I was a juggler trying to keep all the balls in the air. I loved my work it was exciting and I loved my family they made me feel alive in a different way entirely. For the next 5 years I tried to find the balance but honestly, I wasn’t successful in balancing motherhood and work. My career took off I was 1st author for 9 research papers. Let me tell you it felt like blood sweat and tears every single day.
Back to G-d and his plan for me (motherhood was number 1) because He then blessed me with a baby boy! And the sweetest little treasure honestly – this baby was a complete cutie. But something had to give I could no longer work 18 hour days and be a mom. So I decided to go half-day and then luckily due to my husbands business I became a full-time mom.
And there I was a mom of three children ages: 7, 5 and a baby. Every one of my children were different: Em was serious and super conscientious, Tarryn was full of light and laughter and Ryan was ball mad! I did homework, watched netball matches, played at the park, cooked and cleaned. My children were my life they replaced my career. I have no regrets.
I know I was blessed to be able to give up my job and be there for my children I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I had to continue juggling everything. Even now that I am working full time again with my 3 kids (2 adults and Ryan who is 16) I still struggle to do everything! I am still learning to take time for myself to avoid burning out. Last weekend Emma cooked and did all the cleaning and Ryan made me tea and did the dishes….it felt like a mini holiday.
Thanks so much for reading my personal experience on balancing motherhood and work.
Have a lovely blessed week.