I watched a movie the other day about a young, career woman who had been running her own company for a year and a half, and had built it up to the point where she now had 220 employees working for her. However, she was now being requested to hire a CEO to take over some of her management responsibilities because she had too much on her plate; and allocating some of her work to someone else - it was believed - would decrease her workload and, in effect, make her more productive in other areas of her work.
At the beginning, she struggled with this idea. It was obvious that she was reluctant to give up her CEO position, and had a hard time finding someone who she felt was good enough to replace her. But with time, she started warming to the idea; and as the movie progressed, it was slowly revealed why...
For one, she was married and had a child, and had recently found out that her husband - who had chosen to stay at home with their child while she worked - was having an affair. Secondly, the mothers of other children at her child's school openly disapproved of her dedication to her work which resulted in her absence from most parents' events at the school. What's more, she hardly had time to take care of herself, and only slept a few hours each night.
For the above reasons, she had started convincing herself that stepping down from the position of CEO of her company wasn't such a bad idea. It might just be the thing to put things right in her life, she thought, as well as the remedy for all the guilt she felt for working long hours and being away from home - a feeling I'm sure many career mums also battle with.
I have always believed that it's important for children to have their mothers at home with them - especially at a young age - so you can imagine my surprise when I found myself sympathizing with her situation!😯
Allow me to explain...
Since I started my degree at university two years ago, I've realized that I'd like to fully pursue a career in media after I graduate - as opposed to becoming a stay-at-home mum, which is what I thought I wanted to do before. However, I'd also like to get married sometime in the near future, and have a family; therefore, I have been forced to ask myself a couple of hard questions about how the two roles will work together harmoniously...
The movie highlighted three things which I think are important for me to consider as I try to answer these questions:
1) men feeling emasculated by their wives working while they stay at home,
2) other women frowning upon a mother working instead of staying home with her kids and most importantly,
3) the woman in question not feeling 100% at peace with her decision.
I might have also felt such a strong connection to this movie because I know real-life couples that battle with the same issues mentioned above.
Honestly speaking, most of the couples I know that fall in this category (the woman pursuing her career either alongside her man, or solo) have had to make sacrifices. These fall under a number of categories, namely: 1) the husband stayed at home to take care of the children and the wife didn't spend as much time as she wanted to with them, 2) the husband and his wife chose to pursue their individual careers, and not to have children or, 3) the man went out to work, while the woman chose to put her career on hold and stay at home with the children. She later pursued her career fully after the children had grown up.
What I like the most about this movie, however, is how realistic it is. The images I see on media platforms these days do not always reflect the difficult choices such couples have to make on a daily basis, and I believe that this is really distorting our perception of reality. As far as I know, something's got to give. We really can't have it all - despite how much the media would like us to believe that we can.
Not to ruin the ending for whoever plans to watch the movie, but you'll be happy to know that it ended on a positive note. 😊 For one, the main character's husband apologized for his infidelity and, despite having been in support of her giving up her role as CEO before, urged her to keep it if that's what gave her peace of mind. She had already decided to do so by then anyway, but knowing that she had his support made it easier. They also chose to stay together and work on their marriage. ❤
Nevertheless, I'm still at a loss as to what the "correct" answer to this question is for me. And maybe that's it! Maybe there is no right or wrong answer. I derive my conclusion - not from this movie or the examples I've mentioned above, but - from the Bible, in which the women mentioned each play different roles.
The woman's first role in the Bible, however, is to be a helper to the man; and therefore, I must be mentally prepared to willingly play that role if it's what God asks me to do when the time comes.
Either way, I'm certain that I can't have it all...well, at least not all at once. Something will have to give, and knowing that gives me a sense of peace for whatever lies ahead. 😌
I'm eager to hear what you ladies think, though. Are you faced with a similar dilemma, or do you already have a clear idea of what you want?
I find it easier and more effective to write down how I feel rather than to say it.
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