I never wanted a career but I set about making one happen with a vengeance and I have never looked back. As it turned out, I ended up loving the career I never wanted...
Samantha Ettus from Forbes recently wrote an article called “Guilt to the Great: A working Mom’s battle.” A friend recommended it because she thought that I would appreciate hearing the point of view of a successful working mother- and addressing an issue which plagues us all- guilt: The truth was it rubbed me the wrong way.
Ettus told the story of having to miss her 5 year old daughter’s ballet recital because she was scheduled to speak at a conference which was planned months in advance. She described it as the Everest of mommy guilt.
All I could think about was my own Everest of guilt which was going to a grocery store, filling my cart up and then having my card rejected. I turned around and went home with nothing. That night I searched the pantry for anything that I could find. I put together a meal of rice and beans and then cried and cried and cried and started a humiliating round of phone calls asking to borrow money. It wasn’t the first or only time it happened and it made me fierce.
I never wanted a career but I set about making one happen with a vengeance and I have never looked back. As it turned out, I ended up loving the career I never wanted. I took my passion and experience and used it to create a start up in the financial sector as a way to help people get out of debt (we are still in stealth mode which means we haven’t launched yet) and I am even working on my own book called “Disrupting Debt” you can check it out on kickstarter.
My career was shaped by the hard times that I went through, but was also a result of the fact that I am far more suited to working than staying home fulltime. I can’t wrap my head around housekeeping at all. My house is embarrassingly messy- dishes everywhere and laundry piling up all over the place BUT there are two things which I am really good at- cooking and loving my kids. I make them delicious meals and I delight in my time with them.
I don’t think that women need to go through what I did in order to justify having a career- some women are just happier working and able to create a better and more stable family that way. There should be no guilt for that.
My kids complain sometimes about how much I work, and I know that they miss me when I am gone (I miss them too) but I know that I am doing the best I can by them and for myself. I believe that children are more resilient than we give them credit for- excuse me if this will sound mean but if my kids complain about my work, I remind them that there are kids who have to leave school and work to support their families, kids who are hungry and kids who don’t have food to eat or clean water to drink. Then I tell to stop complaining and count their blessings. They are LUCKY that I work, that I care for them- that no matter how much time I spend away from them, I am loving them the whole time.
I just asked my son what he thinks about the fact that I work and he said "I think it''s pretty great." (I swear, I did not bribe him to say this) So there you go, no need for guilt.
Everything I do, I do for them, for me, and for us. I have no guilt and neither should any hardworking woman.
Sarah Nadav is an entrepreneur, thinker, journalist, university lecturer, and writer. Sarah is the mother of two and CEO of BUKIT a financial sector start up in stealth mode. You can contact Sarah through email firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on twitter @sarahnadav