It’s not easy being a working mother. At the tender age of 3 months, you will leave your suckling infant in the care of another, and leave them there for the better part of the day. You will arrive at work disoriented but soon you will adjust to the reality that as a working mother, you will only see your child in the evenings when you’re tired after work and they are sleepy and ready for bed. So you make the most of the weekends. Weeks will turn into months and you get used to it but you ask yourself, given a choice, would you be a stay at home mother? Can job satisfaction from your career equal satisfaction from watching over your child(ren), especially when they are young? What exactly are you doing in your career, are you a replaceable foot soldier or are you the general making some change in the world?
In my experience, I would choose to work from home for the first three years of my child’s life, then as he starts school I go back to work. Many mothers have to juggle both work and family; and when they are forced to choose, who would choose career over family? It’s not a secret single women without children will rise faster in the employment. But can women with families rise too, and to the very apex? Can they compete on the same level as their single counterparts, and men? The situation might be almost ideal in the entry and middle levels of employment, but what about at the top?
Lean In is a book by Sheryl Sandberg, the CFO of Facebook. Hers is to encourage women to Lean In at the table, don’t hold yourself back. A better world is one in which women run half the work, and men run half of our homes. Often, it is the woman who sacrifices her career for the family, rarely the man. The book gives examples of research findings over the years, that show just how much women are always afraid to Lean In, always afraid to push ahead, always having to make the sacrifice of family over career. She thinks that with more women on top to show by example (she is married with 2 kids), more women will join the table.
Throughout the book she shares anecdotes of her own experiences and her journey to the top; her marriage to Dave Goldberg who is the Survey Monkey CEO, how they work together as partners both at home and offering support for each other’s career; her observations growing up etc etc.
I rarely read non-fiction, and when I do it is biographies. However, this was one book I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It brought to fore the story of working mothers all over the world, and it’s a story I am familiar with. We make the best of the situation, but we should never hold ourselves back from reaching for the very top.
P.S. I have the book in pdf somewhere in my laptop, holla if you want a copy.