Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - by staff writer Mayla Chakmakchi
The full-time working wife and mother. Now that's a mouthful if you ask me! My recent departure from Corporate America has given me the opportunity to step back and ask myself, "As women, have we taken on too much?" But before I go any further, I do want to stress that I am 110% in favor of women's rights and equality. Today's blog is merely my experience and opinion as a working wife and mother.
Looking back at history, women in America had to fight for equal rights, just as many women today in the Middle East and other part of the world continue fighting for their equal rights. I have the utmost respect for these women and stand by their side! My recent reflections remind me of the image I've included in today's blog. This photo, known as the "We Can Do It" photo was created in the early 1940s by J. Howard Miller. The photo was initially used during World War II to boost worker morale; representing the strong female workers who went to work in the factories during the war. Later, in the 1980s, the photo was used to promote feminism and continues to be a symbolic representation for hard working woman.
Hard-working-woman. To me, that's the best way to describe a full-time working wife and mother. Plain and simple. Not to pat myself on the back, but with all that a person in this role juggles on a day-to-day basis, I can't think of any other description. Can you?
When I was working full-time, my life was always on the go, go, go! Many times, a mile a minute was not fast enough to keep up with the fast-pace rat race! Between a husband, two kids a dog, the house and work (makes my heart race just thinking about it), there was never a dull moment! Especially on the nights when you have an 8 a.m. meeting the next day and your child wakes up in the middle of the night too sick to go to school or daycare the next morning. To make matters worse, I didn't have the "luxury" of grandparents living close enough to help watch the kids on days like this, making the juggling act all the more interesting!
I'll be the first to tell you that Corporate America is not as family-friendly as it's all cracked up to be. And with all the hard work you put into your day at the office, as a working wife and mom, you're one of the last ones to be considered for a promotion because you're the "dead weight" on the team that can't put in the long hours or go home and jump on the laptop and work some more because you have a family and responsibilities outside the office. While you may be seeing this as a not-so-rosy picture I'm painting, unfortunately, this is reality for many working women.
Nothing good comes easy. We've all heard this many times before. But I can't help but wonder, as women, have we taken on too much? Can we be that woman in the poster and still be happy? I am very fortunate to have the right to work, but at the same time, I believe there's a hefty price tag that comes along with that right. I'm not just referring to the monetary price of things like daycare expenses and conveniences like eating out, ready-made meals or the help of a house cleaner or dry cleaner that we succumb to just so we can keep up; I'm also referring to the things that money can never buy. Priceless things like the stress it brings on our relationship with our family, the inability to be there for our children as much as we'd like to be, or the feeling of panic when our kids get sick and we've used up all our sick time from when our kids were sick earlier in the year. (Yes, I have been "penalized" by past employers for using my total of five sick days for the year because my kids were too sick to go to daycare.) These are the hefty prices we have to pay as working wives and mothers.
So I ask you, what do you think? Have we taken on a mouthful that's too much for us to swallow? Or, perhaps Corporate America needs to be more supportive to hard working full-time wives and mothers.