There is so much discussion about women and their careers on whether women should be at home with the kids or whether they should
pursue great careers.
The problem is that women simply ROCK. We can do it all. Our ability to multitask and organize is amazing. Plus we can nurture and heal, discover & teach, cook and clean. On and on. Lately, in the past few decades, we have tried to do it all. And we CAN do it ALL…we just can’t do it all at the same time.
The last conversation I had with my loving Mother-in-law before she passed away, which I will never forget, as I was playing mental tug-of-war, she said to me, “Ruth, you can do ANYTHING you want….you just can’t do EVERYTHING you want….especially all at the same time.”
It’s such an individual decision to stay home or hammer at work, it seems. Women are so capable, and for that exact reason, the struggle to find the balance between family and career can be excruciatingly painful.
For me there was no question of whether I wanted kids…I always knew I did, and set up my career around that idea. But it hasn’t always been an easy road. As I established my business, I wondered if I’d ever meet anyone…because I was working 70+ hours each week, then going home and washing massage sheets. I was lonely, but I was on a mission to have an established business by the time I got married.
Once established and married and staying at home with the kids, I struggled with the choice of letting my business almost die to stay home, or to stay working long hours to continue the financial success, but let someone else raise my kids. Sleepless nights I struggled & played tug-of-war in my mind of what is the best for my family. No one could comfort me. No one had the right answer. All the while staying home as my business almost died, but I spent all my time playing with my kids.
It’s funny that “in the moment”, like Rush’s song FREEWILL, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”, I WAS at home loving my kids, laughing, playing, but suffering with the withering of something I had spent so much time creating. I finally let go and appreciated where I was in life….that this was one of the “have ANYTHING” while a career was part of the “EVERYTHING right now” part of my Mother-in-law’s advice. She had been through what she was watching me struggle through.
The idea that those who are not in this position can’t understand is the push and pull from both sides. Each side feels extremely justified in their convictions of YOUR time. The very beginning of being a Mom is the hardest, especially with an established career:
- Staying at home is actually MUCH HARDER than working!!
- At work, I know EXACTLY what I’m doing and what to expect
- At home, even the best plan rarely starts and ends the way it’s “supposed to”
- At home, nothing is EVER organized, clean, put away for any amount of time
- At work, I know where everything is, counters are clean, my mind seems peaceful and clear
- At work, I am making more money for the family & keeping staff happy
- At home I am spending money & keeping family happy
- People at work want you at work and don’t care about those at home
- People at home want you at home and don’t care about those at work
- At work I can sit quietly, alone, and get oodles done
- At home, I’m never alone, I worry and am constantly moving to manage the household…just to start all over again, it’s never done
This is the cycle of thoughts until a decision is truly made peace with. The loss of my bustling business was all about my ego, and that part of me could wait. The kids and their daily milestones could not and would not wait. This finally was crystal clear to me and the rebuilding of a career took back seat to being home full-time when the kids were home. What an incredible opportunity. I am so lucky.
For those Moms who may be going through something similar with your career vs your family….hang in there. Only you know the right answer for you and your family. Meditate. Force exercise and quiet time at home. I think it’s good for our kids to see powerful women in the workforce. And also, it’s so important for kids to have their Mom to be with and physically hang on to. When you look back on your life, ask yourself, “what is most important to me” then make choices accordingly. That’s what I answered for myself. This answer is different for each Mom.
As a Massage Mom, this has been a great 20 years!! I recommend this career and wouldn’t have had it any other way.
The PROS for a Mom as a Massage Therapist:
- Able to establish an office and buy a house fairly quickly
- Work while pregnant and raising kids all while working minimal hours making great money
- Forced to stay in shape
- Choose days and hours worked
- Choose the clients I want to work on
- Do what I love & make money doing it
- Connect with clients in a manner that is extremely fulfilling
- Be a “stay-at-home-Mom” with a career
- Be with my kids most of every day
- Exciting daily work, always challenging, always engaging
- Learning something new everyday
- Honoring God with my work, using the talents I was given
- And the best pro of all: I’ve been honored to help the clients I love so much
- Help them feel better in their lives
- Keep my clients playing their sport
- Allow clients to become and stay pain free.
The CONs for a Mom as a Massage Therapist:
- Massage is physically demanding
- My hands hurt after 20 years of working
- There is little camaraderie in this profession
Bottom line: massage is a great career choice for a Mom, especially before you have kids. Strengthen your hands before you start and learn excellent body posture while you work. This is true in any profession. Good luck. 🙂