Who offers the greatest inspiration to our kids? Working Mum or Footy Star?
A few years ago when my son was in primary school, he was asked to participate in writing a bio on someone he found inspirational in the community.
Naturally, I assumed one of those well-known footy players would have been on the list.
Or a much-loved teacher. The school principal perhaps? Or a grandparent? Or his Dad? The parish priest? Or even Chris Martin – my son at the time was impressed with the musical talents of the Coldplay front man.
My son opted to write about me. Me! But why me? Aren’t I the constant nag in his life who monitors all of that screen time?
Well the crux of it is, he appreciates the role I play as a mum who has a career, the juggle of the 2 roles and the persistence to make it work.
Most importantly my mantra “never give up” resonates strongly with him.
A snippet from the bio he wrote:
“The greatest lesson I have ever learned is from my mum. She taught me to never give up and try my best always…Mum inspired me by the way she continues her life with three children, a busy job and when she stays up late almost every night doing her job. I love my Mum the way she is.”
I share this because as a woman, mother and parent there is always that angst at striking the right balance between raising your family while still pursuing a passion for learning, income earning, career growth and just overall personal achievement.
My ambition has always been about a journey of self-improvement, a test of how far I can push myself, never settling for mediocrity, a love for learning and focusing on what more can I achieve & pack into this brilliant life. If I am honest it has never really been about conquering a mountain, it’s been more about embracing the evolution that comes with age and growth.
And for my son, from a young age, he has known no other mother other than the one that goes to a paid job each day.
There are plenty of experts with advice on who makes a better mother – the stay-home versus the go-to-work Mum debate we have all read about and probably even weighed in on. But who is right?
Well, there is no “right” way to be the “right” mother.
An inspirational mother, a role model mother, is one who figures out what is best for themselves, and then makes it work in collaboration with their partner & family. It’s not to say this doesn’t involve some compromise, there has to be compromise, it’s about being ok with the compromise.
My career has enabled me to get to a stage where I can work with flexibility, and agility. I can duck off to a morning school assembly with freedom and the knowledge that I can still pursue my own ambitions and growth.
It’s not to say getting to this point was a walk in the park. It took persistence. Faith in the unknown. A bit of risk. Figuring out what was right for me as opposed to what was expected and of course “never giving up”.
So to those mums who are working at a career, at home or on maternity leave contemplating the “right” decisions, just remember you can be a form of inspiration to your children, especially your sons by doing what it is that is “right” for you.
That is the greatest inspiration and parental leadership we can offer.
It goes without saying I am beyond proud that through my sons eyes I am an inspirational person in the community – that trumps any other career reward or achievement to date.
Note: Working Dads are just as inspirational, but I’ll leave it to a working Dad to post!
If you would like to find a way to juggle your career ambitions with family life please get in touch.
Contact Jo Pye