As parents continue the quest to find balance between work and life, a new research study adds another element to the discussion. Science Daily published results from a study that suggests the pursuit of income
makes parenting less meaningful. This newfound discovery adds to the already spicy debate over whether children
suffer when moms go back to work.
For 33-year-old Daniela Syrovy, a mother of three young
children, there is no mystery or sugarcoating the truth; she much prefers being
a businesswoman to being a mom.
“I never wanted kids,” Daniela says. “I never dreamed of
white picket fences, wedding gowns and babies. That was not my style.”
Daniela wanted to be a war reporter and imagined her life as
a free spirit, completely independent. Unexpectedly, she fell in love, proposed
to her boyfriend, got married and never even discussed having children. They lived
life, operated a burger joint, traveled and sought adventures. She launched
her company, ClutchPR, and a few months later she fainted at the bank while running an errand. That is
the day her life changed; she found out that she was already three months pregnant
with her first child.
Daniela’s history of rolling with the punches and tackling
the unexpected led to a newfound excitement about conquering motherhood. “I
didn't have expectations because I never really thought about becoming a mom,”
she says. “I behaved almost as if I wasn't pregnant, went about my business, travelled, ate sushi and really enjoyed being pregnant. I home-birthed my daughter because I can't stand hospitals; they are where you go when
you're sick or dying, and I didn't feel sick or dying. I was simply pregnant.”
The moment after Daniela delivered her baby, she says she saw
her husband’s countenance shift before her eyes. As he held their baby he
announced that he now knew why he was here on Earth. Daniela says she felt
the opposite. She had no idea what to do with a little baby.
"I admire those that find happiness in it, but it wasn’t for me."
“I breast-fed her and did my best to play mom, but I always
felt a pull to work,” she admits. “I juggled the business and played mom for a
while. Then my husband took over her care because, frankly, he was more
patient and better at it.”
Just as she was beginning to redefine herself, working out
and coming to terms with how her life had shifted, she became pregnant
again. Her oldest child was only 7
months old at the time. After her second daughter was born, the
family decided that they wouldn’t have more children and Daniela’s husband
scheduled a vasectomy. Surprisingly, before the operation could take place, the
third pregnancy slipped in.
“I don't know what I expected of motherhood, but I certainly
never expected to have kids, let alone three kids under the age of 5,” she
says. “I rocked at all the physical parts of mothering, birthing and feeding
and feeling like a primal mammal; this I was great at. It was all
the other stuff that didn't satisfy me and that I wasn't prepared
for. Raising kids is definitely not my forte.”
The decision to return to work while her husband stayed at
home with their children was an organic evolution, according to Daniela. “I was
happier at work. He was a kick-ass dad and wanted to be with them all day long, so it was a natural decision,” she says.
In the beginning, Daniela experienced some angst over
her decision, but much like noticing a mistake on the front page of the
newspaper, Daniela decided to acknowledge it and turn the page.
“Every mother has 'mom guilt.' It's built into us and
pushed on us by society, media, friends, family and other women,” she says. “There
is so much judgment in the world directed to women it's heartbreaking. I’m past
it now. I'm proud that my daughters and son get to see a mother who has her own
life, her own business and who is happy and successful; and that they get to see
a father who is nurturing, present and 100 percent committed.”
Daniela believes parenting is the toughest job on the
planet. As CEO of her own company she can take a break. Her time is her own, and
there is flexibility because she is in control. As a stay-at-home mom, she
found that there were no breaks and no flexibility.
“You give yourself over to the children, and it's a
beautiful, selfless role,” she offers. “I admire those that find happiness in
it, but it wasn’t for me.”
Recently featured on the cover of Toronto Life magazine, the
headline read "Power Wives and Their House Husbands." This bothered Daniela
because giving her the title of "power" for working denigrates her husband’s role and diminishes his value and contribution to the
well-being of their family.
Daniela says she loves her work and her kids yet she makes
no apologies for her preference. “Is motherhood for me? Not in the traditional
sense,” she says. “I think women should feel free to admit that perhaps they
weren't born to be full-time mothers and that choosing another path is