Can Careers and Caregiving Exist Together?
I receive invitations to join Linkedin from former professional colleagues and current “fellow” (seems like a sexist adjective, but?) board members. Although I’m no longer working, I’m well aware of the difficulties juggling career and caregiving entail.
Many of us are–at least in part–defined by our paid work outside the home. Working mothers have two jobs, thus two distinct roles. To enable both roles, mothers with professional careers often afford help at home; others avail themselves of daycare facilities until children are old enough to attend school. None can do both jobs without help.
Multi-tasking, flexibility, dropping everything to respond to children’s emergencies, and being mommy were all part of a day’s work when we were younger. We saw ourselves as a respected member of a law firm, an able salesperson–or whatever-during the day and then transformed ourselves and our identity into Mommy and/or Wife after work.
Is that why an invitation to join Linkedin–for those of us with major responsibilities for aging parents–can elicit a yearning? Or if we’re already Linkedin, do we dare sneak a peek at the site without a pang of regret?
Does a major commitment to aging parents or their care take us physically or emotionally out of the “game?” And if so, can we–how can we–or do we even need to–maintain or recapture that part of our identity?
Tomorrow we continue. In an additional post, we try to answer these questions.
The conclusion: on Saturday.