Wash Post column on working mothers — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Re: Wash Post column on working mothers

  • The comment section - yikes!  Bitter folks!

    Being a working mom is hard, and it's tiring.  I don't know that Joe Biden is going to do anything to make that any different.  I'd love to have some paid maternity leave, but I also know that the people who have no sympathy for "working women who chose to have kids - you made your bed, now lie in it!" will likely never let that happen.

    Wife, Musician, Fed, WW-er, and Mom of three little kids - not necessarily in that order.
  • Since 75 percent of women who have kids work outside the home, it would seem like a no-brainer that there should be incentives to support their economic contribution (paid maternity leave, job shares, reduced hours with benefits, earlier hours, better access to child care than just "good luck," flexibility for caring for sick children).

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  • image Artslvr:

    The comment section - yikes!  Bitter folks!

    Being a working mom is hard, and it's tiring.  I don't know that Joe Biden is going to do anything to make that any different.  I'd love to have some paid maternity leave, but I also know that the people who have no sympathy for "working women who chose to have kids - you made your bed, now lie in it!" will likely never let that happen.

    Agreed.  Do folks just believe that our population and tax base naturally replenishes without folks having babies?  It's really in their self interest that folks reproduce. You only have to look at the population implosion fears in Europe to know what that means.  And considering our nations current xenophobic tendencies immigration is not going to be the solution.  

    I really don't understand the fear people have towards parents in the workplace.  Or even the expectation that families can afford or should be single wage earners.  The problems of working parents are hardly limited to flexible sick time and paid maternity leave - quality and affordable childcare is one of the biggest issues parents of young children face as well as just simple flexibility to manage life (doctor's appointments, DCP meetings, change in spouse's schedule, etc.).     

    As to the column, I liked it overall, I thought her ending weakened her case.  As a working mom I've come to the conclusion that as a nation we are generally not supportive of families.  Although I feel lucky in both my and DH's employer are very supportive of us personally.                   

  • Good article...I am one of 5 owners of a small law firm (15 employees).  Three of us (1 man, 2 women) are in our 30's with small kids.  Two of us (both men) are in our 50's with grown and older kids.  We have a generation and gender gap in our perception of work and childrearing...the older partners feel that they worked the long hours in the office and that the only way to practice law is chained to a desk.  They seem to forget that their first marriages also ended in divorce. 

    The younger partners have all taken the approach that work will come second to home.  So we all work shorter hours than what is considered typical for attorneys (sadly, this still means largely 10 hour days), but we work a lot of the hours at home after the kids are in bed or before the kids get up.  I also work from home one day a week.     

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  • I'm not a huge fan of the article.

    In general (not just in this article), there seems to be way too much emphasis on the role of a mother as the "primary care provider" which I personally think is a load of crap. 

    People really need to start expecting men to bear more responsibility in their family lives, and employer policies should encourage both maternal and paternal involvement (maternity leave is a different issue, since a mom legitimately needs to recover from childbirth...).

    Other than the first couple weeks of DD's life, DH and I split "kid" duties equally.  And we're both much more sane for it.

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  • I really don't think I should be treated differently than the single girl in the office next to me. Yeah, I have a kid but I don't think that entitles me to more sick leave or more flexibility than the next person. My employer is pretty flexible with everyone- so I appreciate it as a mom- but I am sure other people appreciate it for other reasons (i.e. a co-worker who likes to come in late and stay late or the one that leaves two hours in the middle of the day to go workout). We do have maternity leave but there are also programs for sabbaticals and educational opportunities that seem to balance out people feeling like only the folks with kids get the perks.

    I agree with needing more affordable, accessible childcare but unfortunately it seems programs like this geared towards 'middle-class' never take cost of living into effect.

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  • image victoria1212:

    I really don't think I should be treated differently than the single girl in the office next to me...  We do have maternity leave but there are also programs for sabbaticals and educational opportunities that seem to balance out people feeling like only the folks with kids get the perks.

    I think this is a great point.  It would be uncomfortable to have "perks" that only went to parents.  I say - perks all around!  For everyone!  Many of my coworkers who do not have kids at all, or have kids that are grown, (and therefore do not need anything like maternity leave or leave for kids doctors appointments), now have aging/ailing parents and siblings and spouses.  Emergencies arise where my non-parent coworkers have to go take care of an ailing relative for several weeks.  How about paid family leave extended to all employees?  And sabbaticals, and tuition reimbursement, and professional development training, and all the other lovely things I wish my agency offered... 

    I have no idea if the people making decisions about national policy - Congress - are a bunch of single income households with a stay-at-home parent or not, but I do know the folks in my agency who make decisions about this stuff are a mix between people who never had kids and people who had kids 20 - 30 years ago and have zero sympathy for young/new parents wanting any kind of paid leave because they have the attitude of "well, we had to tough it out when we had kids and take a bunch of unpaid leave, so you can too, you whipper-snappers, so suck it up."

     

    Wife, Musician, Fed, WW-er, and Mom of three little kids - not necessarily in that order.
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