Mothers’ Stories

Diaries of a working mother: Be all in, or all out … there is no “in between”

April 17 , 2016
Yasmeenah
Yasmeenah is a working mother of two boys....More

Episode (1): Yes! Thursday evening, that time of the day when you start wrapping up and getting ready to head out of the door. The phone rings, with your boss’s name on the screen. This cannot be good, right? He knew me too well and could tell I was dragging myself into the room, so he was considerate enough to make it short and sweet. He asked, “where are you?” … what do you mean! is this some kind of a joke? … he continued:“This is not the person who left three months back, I wonder where you’ve gone”…. Seriously! Yes , damn right this is NOT the same person, two sizes bigger, extremely tired from sleepless nights and Oh – forgot to mention the baby I leave back home every morning to come to THIS …. And without me knowing, these thoughts that were locked up somewhere in my head decided to betray me and transformed into big lumpy tears rolling down my face, washing away my mascara and my pride straight down with it….

this is NOT the same person, two sizes bigger, extremely tired from sleepless nights and Oh – forgot to mention the baby I leave back home every morning to come to THIS

For a career woman with 9 solid years of strong performance under her belt, I never imagined or thought I could find myself in such a situation. I had big dreams, big hopes and aspirations that one day, some day , I will be one of the powerful business women in my field, I had it all mapped out in my head – until of course this moment of vulnerability and dare I say - truth. I realized I was not superwoman, nor can I have it all at the same time, and I realized that it shows . It was my first week back at work after my maternity leave, and as you can see, it wasn’t the great come back I was hoping for. As I said, he made it short and sweet especially after seeing that I have the ability to revive a whole town out of drought: “it is OK to feel like this, it is normal. You may have a million things going on right now and that is also OK – but when you walk through this door at 8 AM, I expect you to give me 100% because that’s the only way for you to make it worth your while”. Before even thinking - “I believe I can’t go on, I need to quit” – I blurted. OMG! did I just say that out loud?! How could I! More tears…. Much more tears. “And that is also OK”, he said in the calmest way,” but you have to make up your mind, and you have to make it up fast”. I was overwhelmed with emotions; Love, anger, frustration, self denial, and guilt. Guilt is a big one; it is a dangerous one too. Guilty for not fulfilling my motherly role 24/7, guilty for not having the courage to keep up with my career, guilty for exposing my emotions and crying my heart out... Guilt is vicious, and if you let it take control – you’ll find enough reasons to feel guilty no matter what you do. I walked out of the building that day, as if it is my last day. Weekends usually fly fast, and when you need more time to make a serious decision, they fly even faster.

There’s something powerful about confrontation and calling it out. My boss, who I hated for the first 48 hours from that discussion, saved me.

There’s something powerful about confrontation and calling it out. My boss, who I hated for the first 48 hours from that discussion, saved me. He rescued my career from the most negative powerful force – myself. When you’re forced to make a decision, your brain takes over (which is a blessing sometimes). Your brain (and I stress on the word YOUR), will always give you the right advice for YOU. I came back Sunday morning with a renewed sense of energy and determination. I want to give it 100%. There’s something about fulfilling your own potential; it makes you happy, it gives you confidence, and it allows you become a better version of yourself – with each and every passing day. This positive loop spills over to your personal life, at home, with your kids, family and friends – it is a win-win for all parties. I look back at this day with a smile. It changed my life, it was a turning point and there was no going back. Each one of us will stand on the same cross road at a certain point in time – when your time comes, because it will, give whatever you choose your 100%, and don’t look back.

I chose to be a working mom, and if you did too – then we are in the same rocky boat

I chose to be a working mom, and if you did too – then we are in the same rocky boat :) which brings me to say “Hello! My name is Yasmeenah”. If you find yourself wondering, “am I a good mom?”, “do I spend enough time with my kids”, “how to keep the hubby on the priority list”, they’re the easiest to slip with all competing priorities :) - then you’ve come to the right place. I am not claiming to be an expert, I still have my moments of guilt and emotions – but they are becoming less frequent now – so I must be doing something right! I will write to you about work life balance, how to make the best out of your time both in and out of the office, give you some tricks and tips that will help you spend more quality time with your loved ones. I am hopeful that I will also convince you to find some spare time for you, whilst sparing the guilt! It’s an exciting journey of self fulfillment, and I can’t wait to take you along with me. If you’ve read thus far, chances are you’re excited and keen, too! So let the journey begin.