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I was just realizing that my perception of working mothers has really changed dramatically now that I am one. When I was single and in my twenties there were some working mom's that I worked with that I would be critical of when they came in late, left early, or who seemed to be watching the clock for a 4pm quitting time so they could just turn off the monitor and run. Seriously I remember one woman who wouldn't even shut down her computer. She'd have her coat in her hands by 3:57, and would hit the power switch on the monitor by 3:59, so she could be in her car by 4:01. In my eyes it seemed like they didn't care and they were just leaving the job for someone else to do...
Then this last week I've come to realize I'm one of them now. I'm lucky at least that working from home, it may be slightly less obvious to my coworkers and at least the culture of my company has moved significantly in the direction of worrying only about the job getting done well, as opposed to how long my butt has been in a chair.
Still, you can bank on the fact that by the time 4pm rolls around, I'm already logging off my computer if it's not already shut down. I used to think that those mom's were leaving me tons of work to do in their absence...now I realize they cared about that probably as much as I care now. I still do my work and I do it well. I don't leave anything for others to do, but I really don't care what their perceptions of me are either.
Becky, mommy to my Monkey Pie, Maggie (June 10, 2010)
I guess I'd never really thought about that before.
At my job now I work with a lot of younger, childless women, and I'm sure they probably perceive me that way. I get a little annoyed at them when they ask to switch shifts with me and seem to not understand that I'm not saying no just to be a b!+(h, but because it truly involves moving mountains to find childcare at the drop of a hat. It's nice to know now that at some point they will understand.
It has in some ways. I know that I use to be on myself at work, because I tred not to let the fact that Im a "working mother" affect me in a bad way..ya know.. It always seems like I have to prove a point that "I got this" so normally I work harder than when I didn't have children. I have gotten better though and since having London I have settled into my working mother role and have realized that It doesn't matter what people's perceptions are...ya know..
Omg..I'm totally the girl who is logged off her computer by 3:57! I leave earlier than anyone else in the office and I could care less because I'm a hard worker during my work hours but as soon as the clock hits 4:00 my priorities change.
Me too. While I had the nanny here, it wasn't as bad. She was really flexible and helped me accommodate meetings that began right at 8am, and meetings that ran over 4. But now that I'm dropping off and picking up at daycare, there's not a second wasted on this place that isn't critical to me maintaining a paycheque.
Becky, mommy to my Monkey Pie, Maggie (June 10, 2010)
I am few days late to the conversation. But when I was doing my student intership for teaching MB was right across the street from me and only 10 weeks old, so every time I had a spare minute I was over there to hug on her. I loved it, now working and hour away from her I miss those minutes, so I spend every minute I can with her when we are at home. Also now I'm lucky that I have wonderful understanding supervisors, who have/are raising there own children while working in the same profession. So I put in all I can during work hours 730am-330/4pm, if you figure in my commute 630/7am-445/600pm.
I always tried to get stuff done and get out the door faster even before kids. My co-workers tended to go out to lunch and socialize a lot. If I needed to work an 8-hour day, if I took an hour and a half lunch I was there 9.5 hours. If I ate my lunch at my desk while working, I was there 8 hours.
Now that I have a kid, I definitely try to be even more efficient at getting stuff done in less time, but I also use a lot of my computer time to get stuff done around the house since I WFH. I have a lot of conference calls where I mostly need to listen, and I get a whole lot of laundry and light cleaning done during this time. This is also where my JM time comes in. I seriously think I must have a cleaner house since I work than I would if I was a SAHM because it's really tough to get anything done with Juliana around.
To answer the question, I never really looked down on those who had to leave early to take care of their kids because I could tell they were efficient with the time they did spend at work, for the most part.
That's a good point. The mom's I was referring to weren't so efficient or "invested" in the job. I really have a difficult time taking any time away from work that isn't a matter of life and death, even now.