I’m so lucky. I really am.
I often feel guilty when I speak with other moms because I know I have a pretty great life right now. I have only one child to contend with. I don’t work for The Man and have a flexible schedule that allows me to spend time with DQ when she’s home, and be stimulated by invigorating and interesting work when she’s not. And on those days when I have to be out at meetings when DQ is home, FuBu is always available to fill in. Other moms usually look like they want to kill me when I tell them all this.
One mother I know works overnight hours in a medical lab from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.. She commutes to Mississauga from Richmond Hill (in the drive-home traffic – which is drive-to-work traffic for her – that could take a solid hour and probably usually more). Her husband works “normal” hours, so he gets home as she’s about to leave for work. She’s lucky if she gets 4 hours of sleep every night before she has to take over domestic duties once her daughter wakes up. The way I look at this, life could just not be more miserable (assuming you and your family have your health). I just want to hug this woman every time I see her.
Another mother of three is struggling with the return-to-work decision. Her youngest is about to turn one. She is an engineer – a lonely woman in a man’s profession. She is trying to find a way to get herself packaged out. Her employer – like my previous one – measures your worth based on your face time in the office. Flex-time options are not an option to employers like this. When she last returned to work after maternity leave, her employer was annoyed that she had to take days off to look after her sick daughter (toddlers catch every single virus and germ in existence once they are in daycare). Because of this apparent “lack of commitment”, she was never chosen to work on big projects. When it came time for her review, she was told she didn’t accomplish anything of great significance. Well, they didn’t give her anything of great significance to work on! This royally sucks! I get so enraged when I hear stories like this. Why is it I keep hearing reports of how employers are becoming much more progressive with work-life balance issues? Where are these employers? Based on stories from the front line, it’s just not true.
So, am I lucky? Well, I didn’t win the $650 million from the U.S. Mega Millions lottery, but I’ll take what I have.