Sunday, December 02, 2007
The other day Qwaider talked about priorities between work and family. I wanted to post a comment there but did not work out, besides I have a lot to say on the matter so a separate post makes sense.
At a point in your life saying work is my number one priority is very easy to say. At other times saying my family comes first is very easy too. But I guess there is always the in-between times.
Before I was engaged and then married, the answer was easy work in my priority. I worked late, weekends and had a lot of work related dinners and trips. This was only natural and I did not ever think about it, I would orchestrate my life around work, what is left is divided between family, friends and volunteer work (which I considered as part of work any way)
Then I got engaged and I came head to head with needing to make a choice. My fiancé wanted to see me as much as possible, but I have a demanding job, which meant I needed to make a decision if I will work late or just leave on time, so I can spend some time with my fiancé. Later on I got married and things became more challenging. I needed to be home after hours directly since my working hours are not that short to start with. And beside missing my husband, I had a home to keep, we had people visiting to congratulate us, and other family responsibilities.
At that point I had to decide that my husband and our life together is more important than my work, and that I have to settle for giving 100% but not 150%, that yes at times I might need to skip a dinner or taking staff on tourist trips. That I will need to turn off my phone and not take business calls at all hours of day and night.
Now this might sound so normal to some people, but this is not that easy. You are used to a way of life and a way of work, changing it (even if means less work) is not that easy. And as your whole life changes you will hold the one stable thing in your life –you job- as you are holding to dear life. This does not mean in any way you don't love all changes in your life, but no matter how great they are, they are still changes that you need to adapt to.
Mothers may face the same thing, all of a sudden they have this bundle of joy that they love, but at the same time all the responsibilities associated with it, staring to feel like they are dissolving in this new role, thus holding on to the familiar even though it might be energy consuming. This might not even be the case, but this is how I see it.