When I was pregnant with Abigail, my boss attempted to hire an accountant who had worked for him at another company. She was hesitant to accept the position because, as a mother of young children, she feared that the commute and overtime hours would be too difficult to juggle. My boss asked me to speak with the candidate regarding her concerns. I didn't have any children at the time but as the resident "pregnant lady" I was presented as an expert on the subject. Management and upper management were male dominated and there were no working mothers. Just me, the "pregnant lady."
My boss coached me on what to say and here's the best part of that conversation:
Boss - "She's on the mommy track."
Me - "The what?"
Boss - "The mommy track. You know."
Me - [blank stare]
What followed was a lame attempt to explain the "mommy track." I had never heard that expression used before and it's not like I hadn't worked with women with children. The partner track? Yes. The mommy track? No. I am obviously no longer employed by that company. Their choice, not mine. And my previous position is now held by a man. Surprise, surprise.
Issues with the whole "working mom" gig seem to come and go for me. Sometimes, I am frustrated beyond belief and then other times, it's a smooth running operation. I do often wonder if people realize that I have three small human beings at home who have feelings and need their mother. I simply cannot work massive amounts of overtime. I cannot be available 24/7 or even 15/7. That's not what I signed up for. My children will only be children once and they need me.
It seems to me that a good portion of the work force is being discredited simply because they (we) have children. That we should be happy with status quo and a "job" versus a career. So while Johnny B. Good may be on the VP track, a long time ago, in a land far away, I was a VP. My beautiful baby girls, however, are more important.