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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

But I Am a Mom!

Ugh.

There's been an increase in activity in the "mommy wars" lately, and I can't help but read every article I come across on the topic. It's not just the working outside the home mom/stay at home mom issue, there have been so many little items out there to slam moms and make us feel judged by others. I've kept silent on it, but this latest post is just too ridiculous not to address.

The post in question is this one, "Keeping Baby Off Of Facebook, For Your Own Good". It's not the typical privacy rant about how we're ruining our kids lives by posting things about them online (and I don't want to get into that subject here), but instead about how women are hurting their professional careers by admitting to motherhood.

Wow. If you can somehow work and keep the fact that you have a child unknown, and you're not some downstairs maid at Downton Abbey, then you have my sincere admiration. Somehow, you never impacted your career during pregnancy. Or maybe you started a new job right after giving birth? And you must have that miracle of a child that never has a sick day, never has a school vacation, never has an in-school event you have to attend? Or your support network is just that robust that you never have to acknowledge the kid at all? Or maybe you're just a really amazing liar then, with an excuse for every occasion?

I am immensely proud to be a mother, especially one in my male-dominated industry. I have multiple pictures of the kids on my desk, and kid art projects too. I openly discuss childcare with anyone who asks, and everyone here knows that my kids are my priority. Studies upon studies, like the article cites, may prove that all this is to my disadvantage. But in the long term, in my own small way, aren't I paving the way for the changes that need to happen in this arena? Why hide this aspect of yourself, instead of challenge the bias that I'm less competent because I'm also a mother? Of course, be smart about it - maybe don't post the videos of your extended sessions of baby talk, or photos of you with spit up in your hair, but were you really going to do that anyway?

I hope that anyone who has (had the pleasure of) employed(ing) me has been able to judge me on the contributions I have made to our workplace. If anything, I want them to think that I'm an amazing employee on top of being an amazing mother. We shouldn't be encouraging other mothers to limit those sides of who they are (or worse, scaring them out of the workplace altogether). We should be proving ourselves every day as both competent employees and human beings in general. Human beings who have children and post pictures of them on Facebook. And in their cubicles.

2 comments:

  1. Very well said. Bravo. It isn't a question of mommy wars. Being a stay at home mom is a lot of work, but being a stay at home mom with huge financial resources is a hell of a lot different than the average stay at home mom.

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  2. Awesome post, Cheryl! It's sad how often it is open season on mothers as public (and acceptable) scapegoats.

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