As if parents with jobs didn’t have enough drama in our lives, people continue to anger working moms, without realizing it. The reasons that fire me up usually have to do with failed time management, whether it’s school related stuff cutting in on work time, or job related issues encroaching on the limited hours I get to spend with my children. In a world where we are increasingly expected to be available every hour of every day (thanks internet), parents, who are already “on the job” every hour of every day, are even more stressed out when people don’t respect the boundaries between work and life. I cannot, and should not, be expected to answer emails or calls or work on projects beyond the forty or so hours a week for which I’m getting paid. And yet, so many parents, myself included, hop online after the kids are asleep to clear the decks for the next workday, anticipating that things will pile up if we don’t tackle them immediately.
Ideally, I would not be required to serve a set number of hours to get my job done. I am a grown-up and I can be trusted to just get it done by the time it is due. Sitting at my desk from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. doesn’t ensure the quality of my work, it only makes me accountable for showing up. That’s why I feel flexible work schedules would make working parents, like me, a lot less angry.
It’s a fact, when businesses give their employees more flexibility with their hours, they're usually happier, more productive, and make a positive, financial impact on a company’s bottom line (as turnover will decrease and fewer sick days will be used). Still, the move towards work flexibility has been painfully lethargic. While newer companies in tech are more likely to embrace more generous paid leave policies and malleable schedules that accommodate their employees’ lives outside of the office, the majority of employers are turning a blind eye to what workers really want and need. Limitless snacks and craft beer on tap and nap pods and massages are all lovely, sure, yet they all represent the trappings of a place that doesn’t want employees to leave the office. As a working mom, I have to leave work. I try not to take my work home with me, because home is where my kids are.
I don’t want to stop working, because my career is part of how I define myself and it's something I'm immensely proud of. I’m more than pleased with the work I do, and I want my children to take pride in their mom because of it. I just get really pissed off when some of these antics are pulled, intentionally or not: