This is an open letter to organizational management about being a working mom:
By WMM Contributor: Elizabeth Braatz
I love my job and I love working for this company. You’ve given me the opportunity to contribute to something bigger than myself, something that impacts society in a positive, constructive way. You’ve allowed me to provide for my children and myself, and be an example of what it means to work hard and earn a living.
With this all being wonderful and quite frankly necessary to survive, being on your payroll is also tremendously difficult. While I went to college and graduate school to get a great job and change the world, there are people at home that consume my mind and take up my thoughts. I frantically feed, clothe and get these people ready in the morning to rush them off so I can rush off to you. I must leave them when they are sick, when they are sad and when they were oh, so little to come to you. I sat in a cold room and used a noisy, often painful machine to feed them so I can be with you. I trusted and paid others to care for them so I can be with you.
While you press me to go to evening, networking events, I am also pressed to be at home to take those faces to practice, make them dinner, read with them, console them after a hard day and rock them to sleep. When I do take a vacation day, I still answer your emails and phone calls when I’m at the zoo in fear that my role as “mother” will interfere with my role as “vital employee.” I am always on call because my role with you cannot be overshadowed by my role as “mom” to them.
You see, I am your employee, but I am also a mother. While I chose both roles, I choose them, those faces, over you. And while I will never tell you that, my heart screams that every time I have to leave them. My heart screams that when I’m up late working for you after they’ve gone to bed. And my heart definitely screams that when they ask why I don’t chaperone their field trips or come to their parties at school. You see, I am THEIR WORLD, but MY WORLD is torn. I can never tell them that; they won’t understand.
Thank you for taking a chance on me. Thank you for allowing me to contribute to the greater good and for allowing me to be productive and intelligent. But please see me for what I am: someone who is pulled in so many directions, someone trying not to fail all of the people who count on me. Please remember that there is only one first smile, one first step, one first day of kindergarten…when I give my all to you, I miss some of those firsts. For me to be whole, I can give part of me to you but must give most of me to them.
A working mom