Sometimes I go weeks barely seeing my kids. I birthed them at home, I breastfed them, I love them unconditionally. But I own my own business, work a lot and often get home after the kids are in bed.
In the beginning I felt a lot of guilt and questioned myself. Am I a bad mother? Should I work less? How do I find the elusive work/life balance?
Thanks to my incredibly supportive husband, who’s a stay-at-home dad, that guilt has subsided. He assures me I’m the best mom I can be. We are all doing the best we know how to do.
We have three kids, six, four and two. After my first was born, I attempted to be a stay at home mom. The truth is, I felt a pull to be working. I had moments where I settled into the peacefulness and chaos of motherhood but as time went the compulsion to be doing something else got too strong to ignore.
Parenting is the hardest job on the planet. It gets zero credit and zero recognition, but it’s the most unrelenting occupation.
Even if I put in 90 hours a week at work, I still have flexibility and time to take a break. My husband does not. He has no breaks. He does the cooking, cleaning and general up keep of the house on top of raising the kids. He teaches them how to ride bikes, climb, build, play hockey, paint their toenails and cook a meal. He reminds them every moment about the things money can’t buy and about how love is the ultimate priority. I teach them that hard work pays off, that women can do anything they like (the eldest two are girls) and how precious a commodity time is.
Sometimes traditional families have a hard time understanding how we’re happy. They think it’s wrong that mom isn’t with the kids as much as dad is, but Tim and I have always danced to the beat of our own drum.
In our seven years of marriage, we lived and had a small business in the West Indies, owned a burger joint, traveled the world and had three kids. We always figured it out. People wonder how a single-income family can survive in Toronto. The truth is I’m not CEO of a massive corporation. I own a boutique agency and don’t make buckets of money but we’re smart with how we spend it. Our clothes are second-hand. We lived without a car for a few years. We prioritize spending on good food and occasionally we travel. We rented a portion of our house to help cover mortgage costs. We are conscious consumers, a lesson we’re teaching the kids all the time.
I’m fortunate that my husband has given me total freedom to follow my heart and do the work I love. Do I still question it sometimes? Of course I do. No scenario is perfect and even though the grass always seems greener, that’s not necessarily true. Mow your lawn, water it, take care of it, make it your own. You’ll start enjoying it more and looking less at other people’s situations.
A while ago I was on the cover of Toronto Life. The headline read “Powerwives and their House Husbands.” The article was interesting and sparked great debate. I have to say though, as the person who’s working, I shouldn’t be getting the credit. The real powerhouse in this relationship is the man behind the woman.