I have a wonderful job. And I work for (one) wonderful boss. My work and home life have balance and grace and my whole family is the happier for it.
But, every now and then, the universe reminds me that I’m still part of The Working Mother’s Conundrum.
On May 18th, the hospital will have its first ever, newly formed, Development Council meeting. After months of meeting with key community leaders and influencers, we formed an amazing council who will work with us both on the strategy and philanthropic efforts for the hospital. It’s a big milestone for the hospital.
Also on May 18th The Swimmy will have a Pre-K graduation ceremony at her little school. They’ve been practicing for weeks on a song and a poem. They will dress up, complete with little caps and gowns and a processional, and beam with pride about their accomplishments as their families smile and cry a little.
And I will miss it completely. Guess where I’ll be.
All over the Internet there have been blog entries about the heartaches of working mothers, and all over the Internet there are also comments that support both sides. I can tell you that I’ve read many of them, but it’s what I’ve lived that makes me believe thusly: Moms should not work.
There, I said it.
I am part of a generation of women that were brought up under the misguided wings of “feminism”. We were taught (endlessly) that we should go to college, we should work, men are inconsequential, men hold us back, the family takes second fiddle to “our time to shine”.
What a crock of shit.
Don’t get me wrong, I lived that for 10 years. I had the job, the title, the travel, the P & L responsibility and, most importantly, the money. (Okay, I do miss the money.)
And it just about killed me. When The Swimmy was born, I worked for a huge IT company and was required to go to their headquarters (out of town) for a two week training course. Mandatory. No options. I had to leave her with Husband for two weeks when she was about 4 weeks old. It was right about then I realized what it felt like to die a little inside.
Actually, I had felt that feeling once before. When Husband and I got married, ArtsyDaughter was about 9 years old. She was in an afterschool care program at the local YMCA. Something inside of me said, “This is so wrong. She should come home after school.” I talked with Husband about it, but he convinced me she was fine. Besides, I was making huge money at that time and I really liked that. But I never got over the feeling that I was doing something wrong.
Which I was.
My current job is much different. I work out of my house for the most part. I take The Swimmy to school and pick her up afterwards. The boss I work most closely with (I have several), has a tremendous grasp on what is Important In Life. He’s a good guy. And I suspect he’s a good dad, too. It’s the best possible working situation I could ever have asked for.
But, as great as all this is, I will again die a little at 7pm on May 18th when I miss The Swimmy’s graduation. So, if any of you guys know of a groovy way for me to quickly create a parallel universe whereby I can be in two places at one time, I’d sure appreciate it. ‘Cause I don’t think a weepy Development Director at the Council meeting would go over so well.