Monday, November 5, 2012

I don't know

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.  


Sarah said...

Good for you!!

CJ said...

Well said. The Mommy Track?! WOW!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. I feel so guilty coming into work at 9:15 because I drop my twins off at preschool and made a choice that I didn't want them there too early to make for a long day. I work through lunch and back online in the evenings but still feel like people are talking about me. So frustrating and unfair.


Anonymous said...

I back you 100% on that! Untill my son grows up to be an independent human being, I contently opted to settle with a 'job' rather than a 'career'. I say it loud and proud, our children comes FIRST.

Way to go 'working mammas'!

Jilly said...

Yup! And yet another component of this is that the fathers are discouraged from being on a "daddy track," so society continues to put most of the pressure of raising children on mothers... like a vicious cycle. Or maybe it'd be nice if a family weren't expected to have two working parents to get by. Or... oh, what a mess.

Melissa said...

Where's the "Like" button?

Seriously, I am dealing with this at work right now and it's not pretty. Thank you for validating the belief that our children are more important!

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I was always on the VP track, and -- although I always hoped to stay home with my children -- nobody knew that. Jaws dropped when I turned in my resignation when the girls were born.

I am so very thankful for this time, but I do look forward to getting back into the work force when the girls start school. (If money were no object, I'd gladly be a room mom, I think...but that's not an option.)

Still, I know that things will be very different for me, having children waiting for me to make supper every night, help with homework, wanting me to come to their school functions.

I can't project how that will work exactly, of course, but I know my priorities will be very, very different.

Stacey L. said...

I work and have 4 kids(2 singletons and twins) and I feel guilty everyday. I hate that feeling. I took some time off work and am enjoying the time at home, but I go back Tuesday and know the guilt will come flooding back. It sucks, but I have to work.