By Sofia Gouveia
Recently a news reporter whom Toronto knows and loves, Melanie Ng, has left Breakfast Television after eleven years of dedicated work. She announced that she made this decision solely for the purpose of her family and how being with her 6-year-old son is currently her main focus. Melanie shared that both she and her husband have demanding jobs but that comes with its difficulties and having their son creates a tough balance. The best decision for her and her family was to leave the show entirely to truly be by her family's side through it all.
Hearing about this story got me thinking about women in workplaces and how at a young age there is so much to think about when looking into the future. Getting a good education followed by a successful career is always heavily encouraged for everyone around us, but I can’t help but think that, as women, more sacrifices have to be made for success because women tend to be the main caregivers in their households. So many questions fill our minds about our future with the kind of job we want: how much money do we need to make a living, is my job gonna weigh into my personal life, at some point will we have to choose our career over ourselves? Does something have to give? Can we have it all?
Well, I asked a Harbord teacher, Ms. Heleno about balancing work life and home life as a mother and wife with a career. We talked about the term “having it all” and how balancing looks different for everyone. She said, “It looks different every day, some days I feel things at home are more under control and some I feel like things at work are under control, I can’t say it’s a perfect balance.” She went on to say that she “allows things to not be perfect all the time and it’s a juggling act.” I asked her for some advice for Harbord students to which she said, “You can only make choices based on what you are passionate about at this moment in time in your life. Pursue those careers that you are passionate about now.” I personally feel it’s so important to take advice from people who surround us. Whether that be at home or from a teacher the guidance we get from them can be really helpful.
The workplace is still a competitive environment for women, especially women who are mothers. It’s important to look around at the powerful role models that surround us in our schools and at home as examples of our futures. As students, it can be stressful when looking at post-secondary plans, but having examples of our teachers and local news reporters like Melanie Ng helps us get a sense of reality that guides us through making tough decisions. The questions we all have about our future may remain unanswered as of right now, but know that we have the resources to answer them along the way.