My head is exploding because my mind is going around in endless circles.
I am a mother of two preschoolers. My husband works out of town and the commute is long. I love to spend time with my children. I love work too, because it gives me space and time to create, to plan, to deliver, to think and reflect. I'm a better mother if I work some part of the week. I have patience and enthusiasm for my children every day I spend with them.
In an ideal world, I would like to work 3 full days. Alas, this world isn't ideal. There are many fabulous jobs kicking around this week, and for this week only, jobs that appeal to what I'm passionate about.
All of these jobs are full time, involve unsociable hours and a lot of travel. Informal discussions about flexible working hours or job share have led to nothing. These kind of jobs are for people who can focus their whole attention on the job, who do not have to comply with hours offered by childcare providers (or who have granny living next door? Or a nanny? Not sure. Maybe people without kids?). I want each of these jobs. I really do.
So here it is, the weighing scales that is my brain. Redundancy, unemployment, downshifting stay at home mum with some fabulous business plan ideas that may or may not be viable on the one hand. Full time working mum under constant stress in very fullfilling job with a cleaner at home and kids in full time childcare on the other hand.
It's not a choice I ever dreamt of having to make. It's not one I like. Above all, it's difficult to ensure the choice is not led by fear of unscertainty, but by what I truly want my life to look like. And to be honest, neither option appeals too much for all the weighing up I do.
So this is what women's lib and equal opportunities looks like. Opportunities are equal as long as you deliver the same long working week, unsociable hours in the same high pressured job as your childless colleague. I'm 40, and I'm not sure if I've got the energy for this, as highly motivated, enthusiastic, and determined I may be. Seems it's between all or nothing, just that it's not quite clear what "all" and "nothing" are in this equation. Or is it all nothing and that's all?