Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The ultimate community workers balancing act: life and community

39 weeks preggies and counting! I have completely neglected any recording of my pregnancy experience which is a real shame, as I'm normally so intrigued by keeping notes, journals etc on how things are going in my life, but I have begun to experience something over this pregnancy that I have never really contemplated before in my life - the balancing act between personal and public lives of a community worker.

I have left Glen Innes for the time being and have stepped back into my whanau - physically, emotionally and mentally. This is the first time that I have actually let go of my community role and put myself and my whanau first. It's really quite a foreign concept for me. Before becoming pregnant, I would be quite content to have a schedule of 3-8 events on my day off with a blend of community initiatives, whanau events and personal activities. Choosing community needs over whanau was a simple measure of whether someone in the whanau could pick up my slack, and there more than often was.

Now, the tables have turned. I have a child growing in my puku and no other person in the world is more important to this child than me. From 39 weeks ago and forever on, I will always be the mother and main carer of this child. The father is important, I know this. But I have realised now just how important a mother's role is in her childs life. This has rocked me completely. I cannot juggle this one! So I have done the only option that I could see available to me, I have put myself and my unborn child first. I have stepped away from my community role and I am now focusing purely on what is best for me and for baby.

Aside from all of the pregnancy issues - morning sickness, healthy eating, growing bigger, loss of energy, kickin' kickin' kickin' baby, mobility, etc etc - this loss of professional role has been my biggest challenge thus far.

For years, I have been an advocate of equality for women and all that that entails within work places and career choices. Now, I find myself very content to not be a super woman - just right now, and learn about this domestic lifestyle I have never quite mastered.