Ever since I’ve returned back to my day job, I’ve been struggling with work life balance. When I’m at work, I miss the chaos. I miss being in charge and the thrill of going up the corporate ladder. When I’m at home, I want to be a full time mum. I miss Madeleine and all I want to do, is spend every waking hour with her. The problem is, I want both a stunning career where I do well and get promotions but also be a mother and not miss any of my daughter’s major milestones! I have a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out) when it comes to my career.
My boss announced that she is leaving today and her job is up for grabs. Before I went on maternity leave, I was automatically the next person in line as I covered her routinely when she wasn’t there. Last year, she and I fell pregnant a few months apart. This meant, we were both on maternity leave and I couldn’t cover her position. I was devastated but at the same time excited that I have something else on my plate: Motherhood.
A good work colleague of mine covered the management role and I was very happy for him. He did a fantastic job. But when I came back from maternity leave, I felt a sense of jealousy. He has taken my role of being second-in-charge. He is the “it” person for the job now. What made it worse is that he talks to me with condescension, which doesn’t help the way I already feel.
Although we all have to sit an interview before anything is official, I am petrified that my maternity leave has halted a rise in my career. If I were to get the position, then this would be an insult to him. However, if he got the position, then I will be forever annoyed that the timing didn’t work out for me.
I feel somewhat guilty towards Madeleine for feeling this way. Although, I am absolutely happy that we have a gorgeous daughter, I don’t know when my career will be restarting again. Probably when we’re done having all our kids.
So after a night’s rest, I took some time out to write down all the pros and cons of being in this new position. I also spoke to a very good friend of mine, who happens to also be another colleague who works with us. She made me realize something, which in the heat of jealously, I chose to ignore: There is more to life than work. Of course I already knew this, but I just needed to hear it from someone else.
I will sit the interview anyway for the experience and whatever happens will happen. If my colleague gets the position, I will be second-in-charge to him and support him no matter what. I have to realize that outside of work, there is so much more to life. A job will always be there, but I cannot rewind time to spend with my kids.
Growing up I was raised by very strict parents and doing well at school was a must. They did not accept failures. So naturally, this has progressed into my working life. It has been instilled in my head that I need to do well and I cannot fail. It is really silly to be honest.
I can apply for the position but I won’t put so much pressure on myself. If the timing isn’t right, then it wasn’t meant to happen. I have an amazing family and we’ve achieved so much becoming parents. It is important to realize this and I’m hitting myself for taking so long! Do other working mums have this severe case of FOMO?