“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticised anyway.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I’ve been criticised numerous times by family, friends and people in general over my ambition. Yes, I am extremely ambitious and always hungry for more. I’ve never felt the need to apologise for being equally attracted to cooking and mothering as well as building my businesses. I don’t work because I’m running away from household duties (maybe I am, I flippen hate washing dishes!) and I don’t do household duties because I have to – Okay, I’m lying, I perhaps would have to if I didn’t have someone who helps me at home.
I rate it’s perfectly normal to be fulfilled by household work, building my family as well as growing my businesses. I’ll be criticised anyway right… You can’t do it all perfectly. Come on! World, work with me here…
We can all agree, it was not always like this? Our moms were forced to take care of home first and worked as a means to fill in the time gap to dad earning his salary or as a boredom filler. I can imagine why they got bored! I get bored working from home! I got so bored, I have an office up the road. *Covers face* But there has been such a dramatic shift in the work world now. Women are doing their thing in the work world. It will definitely take a while for our men to understand and grasp this though. Ask any woman in the corporate space with children and a husband, it is so tough. I wish I could be one of those women who guiltlessly packs her bag at 4pm and makes her way to her car so that by 4.30pm she can clock out the parking garage – the way my mind is set up, i just can’t! My mind works even when I’m sleeping. I write strategies in my sleep even waking up at 4am to jot them down in my iPhone notes. (Damn this mind).
By the way, I gave birth to my youngest, Morgan and when he was a week and a half he was in a boardroom meeting with me. Perhaps that would sort of explain why he is so detached and the Mr Know It All in our home. I know… I’m crazy. But I thoroughly enjoy the ambition of mom, wife and entrepreneur.
I grew up extremely independent and was earning my first pay check at the age of 16. As soon as each of my kids were born, I waisted no time before getting into the work market again. What used to frustrate my husband though was the fact that the home duties were always outsourced to our domestic. We would sit, develop a routine and how we would work together to make this relationship work, I was the home CEO who needed to be reported to incase anything went pear-shaped or there was a need. Boy did my husband and I clash because without proper management, this system failed epically! I would get home from such a fulfilling day at the office and have to explain why I didn’t know that there was no food in the cupboards – I was the woman here right? There were times I would be told at 6pm that the baby’s nappies are done. It was now a frenzy to be running through town searching for a 7/11.
I honestly felt overwhelmed at this ambition and the need to manage home.
My husband and I had to thoroughly discuss (read argue or intensely debate about) this and get to a point of him understanding what was going on. He’s a logician, I’m emotional. So this took some time and progress for us both too meet each other halfway. I really had no ambitions of being a stay at home mom (He wasn’t even raised by one – brownie points!) or even the yearning to stop work at 4pm, run home, cook, clean, feeding and bathe and put the kids to sleep then shower, make love to my husband and sleep and do it all over again. I was hungry for career progress and I wanted to ‘outsource’ the cooking, cleaning, feeding and bathing the kids for more work time and time with my husband. That was the ‘balance’ that made me happy. It makes me happy.
Side note: I am a bad ass cook and there are days my husband begs me for a dish to which I can never say no.
Discussing and finding a non-patriarchal standpoint with my husband was so much easier when we spoke and he could understand what was going through my head and where I wanted to be – In the office. It was in making him understand my hearts desires and not demeaning his role as husband and provider. I just yearned for more than just dishes and grocery stock take.
I love cooking! But I love doing it in my beautiful kitchen to destress after a crazy hectic week and boy do I put my foot in it!
I just really feel this is what works for me and I get the occasional judgement when I forget we don’t have milk in the house, but since my husband understands my standpoint and where I am coming from, I don’t feel judged anymore. He steps right in and makes a plan or gently reminds me. I feel, years later, we have a partnership on the home front.