Saturday, August 7, 2010
The Middle Ground
The truth is that this "gray" area of trying to have it all is not easy from a practical point of view and from a community point of view. It is definitely the road less traveled. And it is day to day hard choices. You are working and feeling productive and then your infant wakes up from her nap or it is time to pick up the kids at school, and a part of you wishes you could just keep the momentum. On the flip side, you can be bonding and having a great time with the kids and you realize you have to rush off for a meeting. The kids' are sad and so are you, and a tiny piece of your heart breaks a little to disappoint them, even though you know in the big picture this moment won't so matter. There are many days like this where, as I am now, you have saved that extra time with your kids and are now up working late so you can play with them in the morning.
Beyond the day to day struggles are the change to your role in your community. On the career path, you are slowed or possibly stalled. Many decide to take their skills from their traditional job and become consultants, freelancers, or entrepreneurs. Not an easy path but a more realistic path to achieving that work-life balance. At best, you are calling your own shots, at least to some extent. And forget about finding a parents' group (or so I thought until recently, more on that some other time.) Either you are a stay at home mom or a working mom. Working moms don't have time for playdates and stay at home moms don't necessarily get why you can never come to playdates consistently. It's definitely a middle ground that's hard to achieve.
So, as an advocate of the middle ground and a person who has built an entire business that serves primarily this road less taken group, I can look at the daily struggles and the outside effects and still say it is all worth it. When my daughter is so happy that I picked her up from school and tells me about her "great day," I think I wouldn't miss it for the world. And at the same time, when I leave a business meeting knowing I have made a good deal that will benefit Cubes&Crayons and customers, I love that productive buzz. I couldn't possibly give up either, so I gladly hop on that bumpy road and invite the strong, fun and challenge driven individuals to join me.