Michaela Merz

Can you really have everything?

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Susanne went into politics as a young lady. She was an exceptional case. Pretty, smart, kind, barely of age and she had high moral expectations for the people around her and for herself. There was no meeting that she appeared to unprepared. There was no topic that she was unwilling to buckle down for and understand.  She put endless hours into the party’s work. Five evenings a week plus weren’t an exception.

At the same time she prepared for exams at university. The rest of the time she spent with her boyfriend with whom she had moved in two years ago. She was very grateful for the financial support from him and from her parents, because otherwise she would have had to find a job. Of course, that wouldn’t have been a problem but then there wouldn’t have been any time left. She was very excited for her studies to end so she could start working. She was hoping for more freedom.

The more surprised she was when she started her first position. It was demanding in the beginning because she had to learn a lot of new things. She acquired more freedom after about half a year. But then new projects started and the amount of overtime rose massively. At the same time the elections were coming up and Susanne was busy every free minute, convincing people of her skills. Her boyfriend only saw her for short amounts of time and most of the time she was so exhausted that she fell asleep right away.

The effort paid off. Her career started to move forward and at the same time she got voted into the local council. Then her friends and colleagues told her that they were about to start families and would have children in six to seven months. When she fished the first birth announcement out of the letter box and all the new baby faces started to pop up on Facebook she started to ponder. Did she also want a kid? Now or later? Is it possible to combine it with her work and talking politics? She thought she still has time. She’ll wait with having a kid.

In the next election round she managed to get into the cantonal parliament. And her letter box filled up with announcements for the second child of her friends. Susanne thought ‘I’ll wait with having a kid’’. At work she led the group and she achieved a clear image as a politician. Then she asked a colleague whether she had ever considered running for national council. No Susanne hadn’t done so but now she started to think about it.

Susanne started sleeping badly. Could she really have all this? A family with one or two kids, a financial career where overtime is expected and a political career with many events and daily trips to Berne? She wasn’t sure but thought where there is a will there is a way.

And one day she came home from a party congress and realised that her boyfriend’s things were gone. She called him and he told her that he had moved out. That he wants a family and that Susanne doesn’t have any time for one. He can’t imagine a life without kids. Susanne wanted to convince him to talk about it. But it was too late.

In that moment she understood that you cannot always have everything.

Image source: unsplash.com

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