In this post, FE Developer Neta Einy reflects on what it took to thrive at both work and home, as a parent of young children.
If someone had told me 6 years ago that one day I would have to juggle a full-time job and 2 little kids, I’d probably laugh at them and get back to work. 6 years ago, work was my life. I lived work, breathed code, dreamed of design patterns (yes, I’m that old and it’s now irrelevant). Work was what I was good at and what defined me.
Then one day, 5 years ago, I had another thing to be responsible for. Not a thing actually, but a new human being that needed my full attention. Suddenly, I couldn’t stay late at work. I couldn’t even have my favorite thoughts to myself (hint: those thoughts were about work). I had to be available 24/7 for a little person, who was sick occasionally and eventually had lots of days off from school.
Since it seemed impossible to have both work and family, I started to think of a new direction – be more at home, less at work. It was not easy. It meant compromising on learning, on quality, and on salary. I found a new company and downgraded my salary a bit, but the bosses were understanding and were able to see my situation. In time, I found I could add additional effort to my work from home, in the evenings. But I was still missing the conferences, meetups, and everything that could have advanced my knowledge. I knew I had replaced my career’s advancement with my family’s.
Finally: Letting Go
One day, I realized the solution – babysitting, combined with other non-paid help (yes, grandparents). But mostly, the solution was to let it go. The children grew up, and I managed to rely on others.
Over time, I’ve seen a big change in the high tech industry, a change that reflects the understanding that people can work from home and still be productive. Moreover, the industry has begun to realize that parents are very productive creatures, as they tend to arrange their time accurately, and tend to meet their tasks.
I know I found the real balance, and I hope others can find it, too.
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