There seems to be a perception (outside of female CEOs with a crèche built into their office like an en suite bathroom) that you cannot balance motherhood with a demanding career. As a woman who has worked hard to establish myself in work I found it difficult to comprehend that the moment I had a baby I was no longer deemed good enough to do a complex job. Now the main reason behind this is that we still live in an age where the male species (even those with children) think that mothers will be spend their day obsessed by the well being of their child, counting down the minutes until home time or running out of the office early because they can’t bear to be apart from their pride and joy a minute more. Now this does happen in real life with a small minority of women but it seems to be enough to tar us all with the same brush.
Word in the office is that children can hinder your career – a woman’s not a man’s but there doesn’t seem to be a logical explanation why. As it stands I only work 4 days a week because it is cheaper for me to stay at home rather than pay the crèche for an extra day, however, when I have mentioned that I am going for promotion (whilst working part time) I have been met with an interesting view from male colleagues who think that it is nigh on impossible to do a “real” job in 4 days. Because if you work part time the work you carry out is deemed to be ‘not as important’ as a full time man’s job but it does give you more time to do other jobs such as hovering, shopping and dusting. I was floored when those words were uttered because he was being serious. Women can be multi skilled across home and in certain parts of business but are not capable of being multi skilled at the top levels working less than 37 hours a week.
There is enough guilt placed on mothers who want to spend time with their children but have worked hard to build a career and don’t want to lose their skills without being told that the decision to have it both has been taken out of your hands by someone who thinks they know better. It is a known fact that mothers are the best at multi skilling, can organize tasks weeks in advance and don’t drop the ball when things come out of left field because if we were to fail at the million things that we have to contend with on a daily basis the world would cease to exist.