One day driving to work, I was daydreaming of other careers. I wondered what it would be like if I was a hairdresser or a nurse — you know, “when I grow up”? Both these careers seem to offer decent pay and the option to work part-time or full-time.
This got me thinking about my daughter, Zoe. She’s not even 2 years old, but already I’m wondering what she’ll be when she grows up. I want her to go after her dreams whether she wants to be a lawyer, a big business executive… or by the looks of her “don’t-mess-with-me” face in this picture, a G.L.O.W. (Glorious Lady of Wrestling.)
Yep, Zoe can grow up and be whatever her little heart desires. But, should I forewarn her if she also wants to be a mother? Or suggest she acquire other skills that give her more flexible options in her career. “You know, Zoe… you’ve always had nice hair and an ear for gossip. How about a career in hair design?” Hey, the hefty family member discount would be pretty sweet.
Growing up, my mom was always a working mom. She’s a nurse who has worked both part-time and full-time schedules. Her hours have always been flexible. When she was home, she wasn’t distracted with work issues. When she left the hospital, her work was done. She made being a working-mom seem easy. I’m sure it always wasn’t. But, she never let me know. Especially, when I was the age to start wondering what I wanted to be when I grew up.
In my college years, I dreamed of becoming a big-time marketing executive. I also dreamed of having a family. In my mind, I was going to have it all—big career, big happy family.
Well, I’m not that big-time marketing executive. I followed a different career path. I’m a copywriter for an ad agency. It’s a career I love. The drawback? Sometimes when I leave the office, I’m still working–whether it’s responding to emails from home, thinking of that next big idea, or working extra hours to meet a deadline. It interrupts my time that I should be spending with my kids and my husband. That’s what gets me thinking about those other careers again.
Do I think working-mom hairdressers and nurses have it easy? Absolutely not. I’m sure they share the same gripes and feelings of guilt as any other working mom. It’s the “punch-in, punch-out” aspect that makes me envious at times.
When Zoe starts thinking about college and a career, I hope to share some working-mom wisdom with her. No, I won’t force her to go to beauty school. I will support her dreams. Just like my mom supported me.