Sun or Shade?
Having children has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. I love them unconditionally, and want the world for them. They are my greatest creation and I’m sure any of you with children completely agree.
However, for as much as I love them, you will rarely hear me mention them. I will not mention needing to take them to the doctor’s, practice, or school events. You will not hear me talk about making them breakfast every morning before school, lunches during the week, or all of the times I feel like a shuttle service. And I’ll be damned to ever tell someone I didn’t get to it because my kids.
Why? Because I’ve learned that in the workforce having children puts you at disadvantage. A young man or woman will trump a mom. They will pick up their phones and respond to emails anytime, while a mom may have an evening routine before laying their kids down to rest. They tend to also have better boundaries. This DOES NOT make them less.
I have literally lost clients for this reason, and it was directly told me. I’ve had colleagues comment how women with a family don’t have the time they have because they’re single.
Isn’t it interesting though that this never seems to be the response to a “family man”. To the contracy of the skepticism faced by moms in the workplace, they are applauded for their time spent with family because of the expectation society places on our roles.
Therefore, I have developed this thing… do not mention my children in a work environment. When I do I make it brief, and it’s responding to a question being asked about them.
I don’t know the resolution to shift people’s mindset on this. Certainly companies having more work life balance in the world today seems completely out of reach, especially in upper-level management and c-suite levels. But for the small business owner, I we can be more flexible and never discount the mom.
Being a woman isn’t easy. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom there is judgement all around. But I can tell you being ambitious with a family is like constantly being pulled in two different directions and feeling like you have to make constant sacrifices of one to support the other.