A lot of my friends in #LinkyourLife are doing a 30-day challenge and I am excited to participate in it! But by the time you read this post I will likely be crying and definitely not up for any kind of a writing challenge.
You see, I will either still be pregnant (3 days after my due date, so not terrible but not exactly great either) or *hopefully* at home with a newborn. It seems on either side of the equation; many tears will be shed.
Instead, I have recently been reflecting on the help that is necessary to “have it all.” I’ve known for some time what Sheryl Sandberg recently (and tragically, my deepest sympathy goes out to her) learned. That having a partner – whether you are married or not – is necessary for the balancing act that is modern parenting (link to an 18-minute TED talk. You will not regret listening to/watching this one if you have the time).
The middle two weeks in May proved to be exceptionally challenging for our little family. N lost his job and several days later E and I were in a car accident.
But it’s been through this time that I’ve really seen the silver linings that have come through in these circumstances.
First, N lost his job three weeks before A was due to join us which allowed us sufficient time to change the maternity leave plan. I cannot imagine trying to make such a huge adjustment three weeks after the birth of a new baby.
Second, with our car (that we were making payments on) being totaled we essentially got rid of our second highest bill every month. We think we will be a one car family for the foreseeable future.
Third, as a result of my injuries (in addition to a very advanced state of pregnancy) from the accident, my mobility is severely limited. Having N home and taking care of the domestic duties has been incredible for me and I truly have never been more appreciative of him.
I certainly don’t have all the answers – I’m really just making all of this up as I go along just like anyone else – but it seems to me that acknowledging that paid and unpaid work is equally valuable, both in our partnerships and society at large, would reap some serious benefits.
I would encourage you to sit down with your partner (I hope you have one, dear reader!) to really talk about separating out your paid and unpaid work to support each other at home and in your careers.
In the coming months, N and I will be coming up with a Hanson Family Strategic Plan to help us facilitate (and really, even realize) the goals we have for our family and what we can do to get there. I’m looking forward to sharing this process with you!