It seems that whenever you get a bunch of talented mothers together, inevitably the talk eventually turns to work and the frustrations of trying to get some without abandoning the idea of raising the kids.
I had an opportunity to talk with Floral Designer Friend over the weekend. We were at a delightful birthday party for Aspiring Writer Friend. The party was delightful for so many reasons... good food, good friends, no kids. And then we started talking about work.
FDF has been an at-home mom for the past year and a half, and she has been thinking about going back to work part time. "I'd really like to figure it out," she said. "But I'm just too lazy." Floral design seems like the perfect job to do part time. But sadly in order to make it work, she would actually be spending money to go back to work because it would cost her more to pay for childcare than she would earn at her job. There has to be some equation where it would make sense financially.
Lazy is the wrong word. It just should not be this difficult to figure out.
If FDF decided to go back to work and pay for the privilege, she wouldn't be the first woman I know to go that route. Early Childhood Education Friend has been volunteering at a farm doing animal therapy with disabled kids and disabled veterans. She says it's rewarding work, but ECEF shouldn't have to work for free. She's hoping it will eventually lead to a paying job.
This is not laziness people. The system does not seem to value the brainpower of mothers. Where are the childcare credits for working moms? Where are the tax incentives for employers that make it more attractive to hire part-time professionals? I know that some employers go the extra mile to retain women and get them back to work in flexible jobs after they have a baby, but they seem to be the exceptions.