Life is full of conflict. We love our kids and want to spend every waking moment with them, yet we crave a fulfilling career and a life outside of the home. Is each one mutually exclusive of the other? On the surface, yes it would seem so, but although it is very difficult to have your cake and eat it, there are ways to minimise the conflict.
The Rise of Superwoman
Modern life is incredibly hard. Women no longer stay at home to take care of the kids and household chores. Instead, we have been raised to believe we can be anything we want to be.
The term ‘superwoman’ was coined in the 80s when investment fund manager, Nicola Horlick, strove to juggle her career with six kids, one of whom was seriously ill. She managed it for many years, but eventually, her life and marriage fell apart in spectacular fashion. Today, Nicola Horlick is back in business, but she paid a high price for wanting to ‘have it all’.
Although starting your own career after having children can be difficult, if you are willing to make some compromises and creative changes to your life, it’s something that can be achieved. It’s also something that’s much easier to achieve in 2017 than it was in the 80’s.
Coping with Paralysis
The problem most of us face when our values clash is that we end up paralysed. We can’t see a way out of the problem, so we dither and do nothing. This is easier than trying to resolve the conflict. However, by asking yourself the right questions, you can navigate your way through this tricky situation and live the life you want to live.
Embrace Your True Values
Your true values are not something you should turn your back on. If you have always wanted both children and to earn money, this is something that is still possible. Instead of heading back out into the corporate workplace, think of other alternatives that fit into your new lifestyle. This could mean starting your own business from home, for example. You can still work in the same industry as you are trained in, but on a more flexible schedule than before.
What you do need to do is sit down and truly think about what you want and what you value in life. The more aligned your personal values are, the greater sense of contentment you will feel.
To resolve the conflict, deconstruct your values. Writing your thoughts and feelings down can help, but you may find it useful to talk to a counsellor or life coach. Think about whether you want to work, stay at home, or work from home. Is your partner discouraging you from working, or do you feel as if you ought to work to make a financial contribution?
Greater insight into your true feelings should reveal which values mean more to you. The more conflicted you are, the more guilt and dissatisfaction you will feel. Look for ways to balance your wants and needs. There is always a solution to most things, you just might have to think creatively to achieve it.
Own Your Goal!
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