Dear Jido – October 2023

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Dear Jido,  

 

I’m a new mom to an adorable baby girl and I decided to take a big leap and change jobs after my maternity leave. My new job has all the bells and whistles – new title, better pay, and more ownership. It’s everything I’ve always wanted in my career but the timing has been really tough. The hours are long, the pressure is extremely high, and all I want to do nowadays is spend every waking moment with my baby.   

 

I’ve always been career-driven so it was a no-brainer to accept this job offer – but now that I’m actually living it, I feel so much guilt and pressure to “do it all.” I feel like I can’t give anything 100 percent and I’m struggling with balancing mom life, work life, time with my husband, and time for myself. I can’t afford not to work but it’s been so hard to stay motivated when my mind is always on my baby. Do you have any advice on how to balance it all?  

 

Signed, 

Home or Work? 

 

 

Dear Homework, 

 

First and foremost, mabrouk for your new baby daughter. May she be the first of many more happy and healthy children for you and your husband. 

 

You bring an interesting dilemma – sincerely wanting to raise a family versus personal fulfillment as well as financial support of your growing family. How does one choose? 

 

To begin, the Torah teaches us early on in the fields of Mamre, the angels ask Avraham Avinu – where is Sarah your wife and he replies – she’s in the tent. Even though she herself was not yet a mother, she was tending to the needs of Avraham’s family.  

 

So it would appear the Torah is telling us – the first priority of a woman is to be a wife and mother. 

 

That being said, I am personally a big believer that a person should look to maximize his own potential. It seems you’ve landed a position that allows you to do that – albeit at the possible sacrifice of being your best with your husband, your child(ren), and yourself. 

 

Being a stay-at-home mom can be very difficult for a talented, career-minded woman. Therefore, I would recommend one of two options: 

 

  1. Relinquish part of the job accountabilities. Not the work itself, but the responsibility to implement and carry out the results of your work. Do the details that you’re good at but let someone else be responsible for making them happen in the workplace. Even though it will likely result in a cut in pay, it will relieve you of a lot of the pressure you have that takes you away from what is ultimately more important.

 

  1. With the advent of remote work, find an even better job that allows you to use your talents working at home with flexible hours in order to be there whenever your family needs you. I have a list of eight Jewish job boards that post dozens of remote jobs every week. Let me know if you want to see it. Find one, and enjoy being a mommy. (It’s almost as good as being a grand mommy.)