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Sucking at it all….The Hybrid Work Trap

Updated: Apr 27, 2022

It’s the first week of school for many families across the country today. For some parents this is a sad, end of summer farewell. For others, it’s a cause for celebration. Moms gone wild memes will dominate the internet this week.

I fall somewhere in between. And it’s all relative to amount of guilt I feel. Yep. Our familiar friend, parent guilt.

I lament the road trips we didn’t take this summer, the days I pushed off the pool and took zoom calls. I let the kids play hours of Fortnite so that I could work uninterrupted. I served corn dogs and ramen. Many days I felt like I was failing. I was neither an excellent leader nor was I an attentive parent.

"Summer 2021 was an extension of the 2020-2021 school year. I was the season that wasn’t.

I was burned out from parenting before the

3-month summer parenting marathon even started."

So, I’m glad they are off to class. I can work without guilt.

But by noon today the guilt reappears. I want to see them during my breaks. I want to take them to lunch.

It seems I'm never doing the right work.

What a messed up whirlwind of emotions!!!!

The first week of September is like my new year. I don’t make January 1 resolutions. Instead, the back-to-school week is my time of renewal. I can focus on myself. My adultness, my work, my health, myself.

I can show up like the leader I want to be.

This is a touchy subject for me. It’s rooted in fierce feminist beliefs. I see how divided our parenting and working culture still is. I feel some hope. I lead a younger staff with millennial values, and it now isn’t only impacting women. I am glad for that. But I don’t see a lot of sustainable solutions out there yet. Culture change takes time and purposeful leadership.