When I first started Professional Parents, many years ago now, I had a vision of all of us working parents sharing our stories and through this, learning from each other and finding better family/work balance.
I’ve been fortunate to meet Audra, who lives not far from me in The Hague, The Netherlands. She’s from America and I’m from Australia and we both have 2 gorgeous little girls…and a career. I absolutely love her insights and honesty in person and in this post that she shares. You can read a part of it below (republished with her permission) and then click through to read the rest on her blog.
Why being a working mom works for me
Dual income parenting. It’s so common in these modern days, right? The hustle and bustle of getting the kids brought up while maintaining a household and careers. It’s all do-able so I hear, but wow it can be a crazy and unpredictable life.
My husband works full time with a 1.5 hour commute one way to Amsterdam. That’s provided there are no train delays. I work technically part time, 3 long days in the office in the centre of The Hague and 2 half days from home. I had to work for a few years to prove myself worthy of keeping around the company before I even asked for this type of schedule. I set that bar and now see many other women, children or not, within my company doing the same. My male colleagues are also taking more flex time and hours.
I work for APM Terminals, a business unit of the Danish conglomerate of AP Moller-Maersk. My company prides itself on giving employees a healthy work – life balance and one they can facilitate for themselves. As long as one can get their job done in the time allotted (and do it exceptionally well), then your boundaries are respected.
My girls are young; three and five, only seventeen months apart. I planned it this way. Started my family in my mid-thirties and had my career going prior to running off for two, much deserved maternity leaves back to back. My boss and I get along well as we have worked together for seven years and have a lot of respect for each other. He is also a family man and works hard to maintain the balance with his home life and overloaded work travel schedule. I was always upfront with my intentions for combining childrearing and work.
My career has only recently turned as such as the girls are growing older and out of the house much more with their schools and activities. In the beginning, it was just a job. Just a paycheck month to month to give me some much needed respite from being a stay-at-home mom, which is exactly not I want for myself.
Would you like to share your story? I’d love to hear from you, please contact me. I can either share part of a blog post you’ve already published as I’ve done here, or you can write your own article for this site based on these submission guidelines, or I can email you a questionnaire to take part in our Profile series.