There are times in our lives when we are faced with a decision that on the surface is simple but the ripples are not always easy to ride out. For me, most of those kinds of decisions come as a parent.
I was reminded of this when one of the women I not only work with but admire made the decision to take a break from her career to focus on her daughter who is facing some significant physical challenges. While the decision to do it and take care of her daughter was a no-brainer, my friend will still be facing quite a change in her own life that may not be easy to get through at first. She likes her job, is good at it and definitely provides value to our organization. I didn’t ask, but judging by the tears when she told us she was leaving, she is also fulfilled by her work.
I’m sure she would agree with me that nothing is more fulfilling than raising the children we love, but when we also find something that fulfills those other parts of our being, it is not always easy to leave that behind. Even if only for a little while.
I would like to espouse my views on how our civilization today is at a critical juncture wherein the genders are experiencing new levels of introspection resulting in more conflicted parents and workers. Women are rebounding back from the workforce into motherhood later in life causing a tidal wave of emotions on their choice – whichever that may be. Men are staying home with the children in greater numbers than ever before resulting contradictory feelings between generations of presupposed social mores and the natural pull towards their own offspring.
However, for my friend, this is much more personal and localized and I’m not sure I care how the rest of civilization would deal with it.
I would bet she doesn’t either.