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Saturday, January 08, 2005


For seven years I worked a string of editorial positions -- reporter, managing producer, editor, and as production assistant at a local television show in San Francisco.

Since I have been an at-home mom, I have met amazing women who also had impressive and fulfilling jobs before they became parents. We did not quit our careers. They quit us. Companies could not merge parent and paycheck.

Instead of heading back into those high-paying, highly respected jobs, we lower our expectations. One friend has given up on her legal career for now as she turns a hobby into a flexible job. She is taking the work-from-home road as a scrapbooking consultant. It is transforming her into the host of the modern day equivalent to the Tupperware party.

In essence, we are underemployed. We are not under-ambitious. It is hard work to raise a baby! But mention the “B” word at work and get ready to be written off. How many times have you heard a friend dread telling her employer that she is pregnant? How many women do you know who were put on the “mommy track?” There are woman who get to scale back their responsibilities to work part-time, but it is not the norm. Moms do not fit into the corporate culture. As a result companies are missing out on the talents of driven and dedicated women.

And instead of being journalists, attorneys, accountants, early childhood specialists, paramedics, software engineers, and public relations experts, we are at home missing a part of ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. I was stopped in my tracks while reading this entry when I came across "at-home mom", rather than "stay-at-home mom." I think "at-home mom" is MUCH better! Sure, some people might argue that it's a matter of semantics, but I feel better already. "Stay" implies that we are going nowhere and doing nothing. Anyone at home with small children knows that "going nowhere and doing nothing" is not the reality. I'm going to try to never use the phrase "stay-at-home mom" again.

    Just as an aside, I would also like to say that I prefer "at-home mom" to "full-time mom", another phrase I have heard used. "Full-time" just doesn't feel right. It seems that women use the phrase "full-time" to fit into the workforce jargon. But we need to change the way people think! Each parent who loves their child is a parent full-time (whether they are by their side at every moment or not), but that doesn't mean being a parent is all that defines them, right? I'm an at-home mom who cares for a small child and also spends time reading and working out and, yes, trying to learn new things. :^)