Archive for the ‘Motherhood’ Category


Thursday, May 17th, 2007

Samincittagazee asked for some more links about mothers in the workplace, though.

Professor Mama - Bitch PhD talks about many of the things did in her comment.

I also want to point out that most of the discussion, especially by academics, is presuming that people with kids are married. This isn’t always the case. Even if you wanted to be a hard-line asshole and say that anyone with children who divorces deserves to be punished by not being able to hold a job (because, you know, why should the workplace accomodate people’s choices?), do you really want to say that if someone’s partner drops dead? Not to mention that it is totally fuzzy thinking to conflate the issue of children with the issue of relationships–though obviously they often overlap, for lots of reasons. Being part of a couple does make it easier to parent, assuming your partner isn’t a complete asshole; even in couples, women with demanding jobs often end up pulling more than their fair share of parenting hours, because it’s a lot harder for men to ask for time”off”; because we’ve all–including the kids, which is important to note–internalized the “mama first” bullshit; because a commuter marriage is a lot harder to have when there are kids involved; and of course because “relationships” includes relationships with one’s kids.

People are not brains on sticks. People have lives. Whether it’s partners, parents, kids, pets, buddies, whatever, we all need time to get the hell out of the office. Yes, culturally, we say “kids come first” (though “family” parking spots notwithstanding, that is largely lip service–it’s nice to lessen the chance that my kid’s going to get hit by a car in a lot if he tears himself out of my hand while I’m carrying shopping bags, but it doesn’t really make up for the fact that the big-ass grocery store is a shopping environment designed to try kids’ patience so that inevitably they’re going to tantrum or run off before you get all the way through the store, and then everyone will glare at you for being such a “bad parent”).

Sorry, is our struggle stifling your productivity? - I really really really cannot recommend this link enough.

I’m not a parent. I do not play one on t.v. I have no desire to be a parent, so I have no concept of the realities of being a “working” mom (because, you know, stay-at-home moms don’t work *eyeroll* <-- this is sarcasm). Blue Milk puts it all into perspective, by comparing her "get out the door to work and then get back home" checklist to that of her husband.

  • Find ticket and swim against stream to get through the one ticket gate that is large enough to fit a stroller through it.
  • Walk 15 minutes to the daycare.
  • Sign Anais in, fold up stroller and put it away.
  • Put daycare bag away in her pigeon hole, get a tissue to wipe her tears.
  • Settle Anais in, try and get her calm enough to stop crying, greet the carers.
  • Leave and walk 15 mins to work wondering why I have to start my day in heartache and he is oblivious.
  • Come in, sit down at my desk, feel hungry and wish I’d had breakfast, wish I could get to work earlier, feel exhausted, listen to inane jokes about my ‘long weekend’ (gentlemen, its not a long weekend if you don’t get paid for it and you don’t get to rest during it).
  • The whole thing makes me hurt just to read.

    Work killing the family, report says

    Research has found a strong link between long and unpredictable work hours and the breakdown of family and other relationships.
    Australia is the only high-income country in the world that combines very long average working hours with a high level of work at unsocial times - during weeknights and weekends - and a significant proportion of casual employment.
    These work patterns are making employees unhealthy,putting relationships under extreme stress, creating angry,inconsistent parents, and reducing the well-being of children, says the report by Relationships Forum Australia, titled An unexpected tragedy.

    Working moms, stay-at-home moms, the so-called “mommy wars”, are not as simple as the media keeps trying to make them out to be. I have a lot of thoughts on that.

    [See comments to this post on LJ]

    Happy Mother’s Day And All That

    Monday, May 14th, 2007

    A Third Gender in the Workplace.

    Mothers are still treated as if they were a third gender in the workplace. Among people ages 27 to 33 who have never had children, women’s earnings approach 98 percent of men’s. Many women will hit the glass ceiling, but many more will crash into the maternal wall.

    Here’s a Mother’s Day card from a study just published by Shelley Correll in the American Journal of Sociology. Correll performed an experiment to see if there was a motherhood penalty in the job market. She and her colleagues at Cornell University created an ideal job applicant with a successful track record, an uninterrupted work history, a boffo resume, the whole deal.

    Then they tucked a little telltale factoid into some of the resumes with a tip-off about mom-ness. It described her as an officer in a parent-teacher association. And — zap — she was mommified.

    Moms were seen as less competent and committed. Moms were half as likely to be hired as childless women or men with or without kids. Moms were offered $11,000 less in starting pay than non-moms. And, just for good measure, they were also judged more harshly for tardiness.

    “Just the mention of the PTA had that effect,” says Correll. “Imagine the effect of a two-year absence from the workforce or part-time work.”

    Happy mother’s day, to all and sundry who are still on Sunday and celebrate it on this date.

    *sigh* I can’t even think of what to do about that - moms deserve better.

    ETA: gentlespirit reminded me that:

    Just to put it out there–that seems to be more in the corporate world. In teaching primary school, and I imagine any profession that brings one in close contact with young people, mothers are often given more respect and credence. (With strong union contracts pay is based upon position, time, level of study and such, no arbitrary raises, really.)

    In addition to struggling with my age, and language barriers, I often receive remarks such as “as a mother….” or “wait until you he your own children.” Things I have said have been dismissed with “she’s not a mom” and people who do not know have asked if I have children as a means of judging what I say.

    I am not saying that the treatment described in the study you posted is appropriate; I am rather appalled. I am saying that I feel it deals with a select part of the job force. Just saying “workplace” is hardly clear.

    [view comments on LJ]