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The Mother Of All Conflicts

I was just reading another blog that I frequent (a so-called “mommy blog”) and there was a post today about how employers should create more mom-friendly work arrangements. More help with daycare, more flex time, etc. Are you kidding me? I’m not sure how more family friendly the workplace can be sometimes.

I don’t have kids of my own. That’s just the way it worked out for me. It doesn’t mean that I’m selfish or insensitive to women with kids. In fact, it doesn’t even mean I didn’t want kids. I’m sure I’m going to be branded an unsympathetic bitch who’s hostile to women with kids, but there have been times where I’ve been taken advantage of at work because I don’t have a toddler at home with a runny nose. Not all working mothers are guilty of this, but I’ve worked with my fair share of slacker moms who totally milk the system in the name of motherhood—coming in late, leaving early, taking more time off than anyone else.

Meanwhile, those of us without kids come in on time, work late and cover for the people who can’t put in a full day. Just because I don’t have kids, doesn’t mean I don’t have a life. It doesn’t mean my responsibilities outside of the office are any less important than someone who has kids. I love my career (most of the time) but there are times when I want to leave early—or on time— to see my husband and my family or go out with friends, but I have to stay and work late because I have to pick up the slack.

I understand that raising kids is an enormous responsibility. And working while trying to not raise a serial killer takes a great amount of effort, but being a good mom and a good employee shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. I don’t know what the answer is except Do your job. Do the work you were hired to do. Period. Don’t complain about it. It was your choice. Me having to pick up your slack at work? Not MY choice.

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