I regularly get the question how I combine full-time work with motherhood. An understandable question, since by far the most mothers in the Netherlands still work part-time. Yet you do not have to feel guilty if you aspire to a glorious career alongside motherhood. How do you arrange that? I'll explain it to you.
Get rid of the guilt!
Our choices are largely based on what we see others do. Just look around you: many families opt for a traditional division of roles in which the father works full-time and the mother part-time. There is nothing wrong with that, but neither is it wrong if the roles are reversed. The first step in the direction of that dream career is made by releasing you from any feelings of guilt. You can work 40 hours (or more) per week and be a loving mother who is always ready for her child. That is really completely separate from each other. Do you ever hear someone say that a man is a bad father because he works 5 days a week?
Be honest with yourself
I love my son very much, but I have not been involved in being a full-time mum. When I admitted it to myself, it felt enormously liberating. I'm just a much nicer mother if I can lose my egg in my work. Therefore, always be honest with yourself. Do not miss yourself and your dreams and ambitions for motherhood: you can work hard and still be a great mother. Not every woman is happy with the same. The one functions best as a home mother or part-time working mommy, the other preferably works as much as possible. And you know? That's all okay.
Claim your place
Because not all employers are used to having mothers work full-time, it may be necessary to claim your place on the work floor. Discuss with your employer during your pregnancy that you would like to continue working fulltime after delivery. Show what you are worth by posting good results on your work. Show commitment and ambition and just work harder than your childless colleague. Continue to develop in your field by, for example, following courses. Make sure you stand out on the work floor in a positive way by taking initiative. In this way you show your employer what you are worth, and that your job is not at the expense of your child (ren).
Have the childcare in order
Very important: make sure you have the childcare in order. You do not score that promotion by not being able to appear at work because your child has a cold. So make sure you have a reliable backup plan for when, for example, you can not go to nursery due to illness. Make clear agreements with your partner. Can he or she occasionally step in when you have to work overtime unexpectedly? Include an extra daddy day? Are there grandfathers or grandmothers who can be careful in emergencies? Parents of other children in the neighborhood or at school? Build a network and dare to ask!
Stipulate your career
Is your job really incompatible with motherhood? Then it is not a bad idea to walk an alternative route. Can you be retrained? Do courses in a different field? Finding a job at another company? Stipulate your career with reason, but also follow your heart. Maybe after years of work experience you are ready to become a captain of your own ship and start for yourself. Keep developing yourself and dare to take steps in the right direction!
A better mother
Personally, I made the choice a while ago to start working as a freelancer. In addition, I work 24 to 32 hours a week as a copywriter. I have the luxury to work from home for a large part. That makes it easier for me to combine my job with parenting. In addition to my work, I continue to follow various courses and training courses in the field of online marketing, content strategy and search engine optimization. In this way I continue to develop and challenge myself and I increase my chances in my field. That makes me happy.
One of my best friends is not happy at all. She works now and then as help in the household, but her partner collects their fixed income. That works fine for them and they are both more than satisfied: after all, my girlfriend prefers to stay with her 3 children all day long. So we are both very different, but also both good, loving mothers. I am a nicer mother when I work, and my girlfriend is happier when she can be full-time for her children. It's okay. Do you want to get the best out of yourself? Then make sure that you do what really makes you happy. Whether that is that flashy career, full-time motherhood or something in between.