This mom perfectly explains why we need to be more understanding of moms in the workplace
Working mom guilt is a multidimensional burden. You feel guilty working and being away from your kids, even though you know you shouldn’t. But you also feel guilty about not being fully present at your job, or taking time off work because your kids need you.
This mom’s post perfectly nails why we shouldn’t judge working moms who have to take a “day off” to be Mom instead of Employee.
“You know the new mum at work? (Insert eye roll.) The one that is leaving early because daycare has called…… again,” Adele Barbaro writes on her Facebook page. “The Mum that only talks about her kids in the lunchroom. That Mum who is forever taking days off. And the one, that has a shorter working week and gets an extra day off? Don’t judge.”
We’ve all been there — either as the mom who feels like everyone at work is judging them, or the judgees who didn’t understand all the complexities of Working Mom Life before we were thrust into it. And it’s such bullshit, because of course our kids should come first and any employer worth their salt should understand that. But that doesn’t mean co-workers always do.
“Let me assure you that they are on edge at work, hoping that daycare won’t call and their heart drops when the phone rings,” she writes. “They don’t want to leave again. They know how it looks. And if they leave, it’s because they have nobody else to cover them.”
But here’s the thing — what else are working parents supposed to do? We’ve got to be there for our little ones when they’re sick and can’t be at daycare or school. Anyone who rolls their eyes and thinks we’re cutting out of work to go home and leisurely loaf around is either a.) not a parent or b.) an asshole. We don’t like missing work. We know how it looks to those who may not understand. We also feel every iota of the anxiety that comes along with falling behind at our jobs. Add a sick or needy kid on top of it and honestly, we feel like we just can’t win.
Barbaro also sheds light on the fact that days off aren’t exactly, well, “days off.”
“There’s no coffee with friends or shopping sprees, beach trips or salon visits. It’s being rundown with hairy legs, mum buns and boogie filled snuggles. It’s selfless and can be bloody relentless.”
Some of us are lucky to work in parent-friendly, understanding workplaces who don’t punish their employees who are parents. Some of us also work in places where it feels like everyone rolls their eyes when we cut and run at 5 p.m. on the nose to pick up the kids from childcare and get home to start dinner, homework, baths, and housework.
Basically, we all just need to remind ourselves to be a little more understanding and empathetic.
“Know that the new mum is finding her feet. The missed days at work are short lived. And behind the dark eyes is the same women that was first hired…. and she will be back. But she just needs a little understanding and a knowing smile.”