I came home last night at 7.30pm.

In all honesty, I wasn’t tired. The drive home had been short, fifteen minutes approximately, lucky.

“You still have some light in your eyes”, Chief said to me.

“Well, I am not worn out”.

And then I did what human beings like to do sometimes, I erased the pleasure of the moment with worry for tomorrow.

I began to think -what if I am tired tomorrow? What if I don’t come in early enough? What if I come back late for the next three days and then I say hello to kids and they reply me ‘Hello, stranger!”.

The working mother has to be extra deliberate about running her home and bonding with her children.

It didn’t help that someone had sent me some broadcast about a woman who had passionately chased her career all her life and ended up not being there for her children and regretting it in old age. It didn’t trigger me thankfully, remember my birthday was last week? I am a grown woman now, grown women aren’t swayed by pedestrian broadcast messages. Insert evil witch cackle.

But I always wasn’t grown, years ago I had turned down good job opportunities because I was too afraid to even try to make it work. Whatever sounded like it would take me away from my children for too long wasn’t blessed with second thoughts.

My children were an average of infants and toddler then. Do I regret it? No, I believe I did what was right at the time.

Now, and because I believe in time and seasons, I am able to rationalize, chase and find a true win, one where I win at my pre-motherhood goals and aspirations and my children will too win with an overflow of my love, care and attention. The balanced woman is the one whose reality is that none is sacrificed for the other.

I wrote a piece on my Instagram weeks ago, the first lines had read thus;

We will not be the ones whose dreams die on that bed when they say push and we push
For we cannot give life and kill our visions in one fell swoop

If you have had to pause a career to raise your children, chin up, time and seasons. Everything good comes and there is no right or wrong time. If you feel that stirring to go back to chasing your dreams, chin up and go for it, you’ll be alright.

I believe that sometimes, to achieve what we want, we must have inclusive conversations

The working mother has to be extra deliberate about running her home and bonding with her children. She must find a way to work smart, to be that employee whose ratings don’t drop and the mother who isn’t plagued by mommy guilt.

I have conversations with my friends about their support systems -the presence or absence of it.

The workplace can be of great help as well. Amongst mothers, we have exchanged views on how the work culture of their offices could help them achieve some semblance of a balance.

But today, I was able to have quite an interesting banter with a single colleague and a male colleague and I enjoyed their perspectives.

What if they are an organization that is unable to afford special concessions for the working mother? And I did see today, that it is not quite a healthy conversation to rant about organizations who say they cannot grant x or y concessions to a staff because they are mothers. It will merely solve one problem and lead to another.

What if there are other employees with equally important needs for concessions? Single women? Male folks?.

We must begin to have conversations around the reality of productively contributing to the progress of a workplace on a win win for the workplace and staff. Are there innovations that can be put in place that will enhance the productivity potentials of staff across all board, irrespective of their gender or status in life?

How many offices have/are ready to embrace non physical assessment of performance metrics? I know some people who can work certain days from home, provided they deliver – the result oriented approach.

I believe that sometimes, to achieve what we want, we must have inclusive conversations. Not because what we want is not valid, but because sometimes, we get to our destinations faster when we travel with others -their company and conversations lighten the journey.

Love and light,

Achalugo.

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