Do You Choose Your Career Or Your Family?

Do you choose your career or your family?

Most new parents face this dilemma when going back to work. No one is going to ask you this question so blatantly, but it’s a choice a parent, particularly a new one often has to make on a daily basis when you return to work:

Do you stay after the meeting or do you rush back home to put your baby to bed?

Do you put your hand up for the promotion or do you take half a day off for the first paediatrician visit?

Do you tell your employer you want to progress in your career or do you take a step backwards to be able to be there for your children?

Unconsciously, when you return to work, your employer is trying to figure out which box you belong to:

The employee who puts the career first or the employee who puts the family first.

What box do you belong in?

Our brain likes to create boxes in order to process the huge amount of information it receives every second (11 Million pieces!), so yes, chances are, you already belong to a box at work and…There are only 2 boxes.

When I had my kids in my mid 30’s, I was starting the peak of my career. I felt pressure to chose whether I wanted to be a career or a family mum, but the truth is, I wanted to be both:

I wanted to join the evening brainstorm sessions but I wanted to kiss my babies goodnight.

I wanted to put my hand up for a stretch assignment, but I also wanted to be present for my kids when they needed me.

I wanted to join the voluntary afterwork drinks but I wanted to read a bedtime story to my daughters

But why do we have to choose?

Why can’t we be both?

Many parents don’t want to work less: we want to work with flexibility:

Having the option to WFH so that you can be home when your baby is sick or when you don’t have anyone to help

Having the option to work in the first hours of the day or during the night after the baby is asleep. A lot of work can be done independently these days, so choosing your most productive time is a win win.

Being able to chose when you take your break to watch a school performance or talk to the teacher about the school progress I am a mum and I am writing this article before 5am. Yep, that works for me!

I want to work better

As a mum of 2, I don’t want to work less:

As a working mum, I don’t want to work less:

I want to work better
I want to be the best employee I can be
I want to be the best mum to my children

Can I be in both boxes or even better, remove the boxes all together???

Employers: give us some flexibility and let us give you our best work yet!

PS: picture taken during my hotel quarantine in Hong Kong with my daughters.

Veronica Llorca Smith
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Veronica Llorca Smith



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