These men are not smarter or exponentially more awesome and strategic. Sorry guys!
But I can’t help but think they are leaving me in the dust. Why?
They schedule 5 p.m. meetings. They travel without worry. They come into the office on the weekends. They are relentless!
Most have children, so they bear the “parent” title like me, but all signs indicate their significant others are carrying the child-rearing load throughout the day and well into night too.
I suppose this makes sense, but in our household, I honestly feel like it takes the energies of both me and my husband to handle the juggle.
With three kids, we need to shuttle kids to multiple activities on the weeknights. Two of our three kids have daily homework assignments requiring some degree of supervision. And then there are just the basics of getting everyone fed, cleaned up and put to bed.
My husband picks the kids up from their respective schools relatively early since he is a teacher, so I don’t need to rush home for pick-ups. Still, I have a 45-minute commute, so wrapping things up in the office at 6 p.m. or later just won’t work for me. My kids are in bed between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., so we only have so many precious hours to accomplish a lot.
A fellow working mom can relate to the juggle, as can a working dad who also has a spouse holding down a career. But the working dad with the spouse at home full-time? My experience has been they can’t quite relate. Perhaps they feel they need to show even more commitment at work since they are the sole breadwinners for their families, or maybe they simply prefer the office. God knows coming home to kids in the evening can be stressful. Math homework, reading battles and sibling bickering wait!
Still, you would think a working dad would want to get home at a decent hour to spend time with his kids, but I seem to be surrounded by many who seem quite content to work into the wee hours of the night.
These men are willing to make sacrifices I can’t make. In fact, I don’t want to make them.
I’m happy to entertain late meetings occasionally, but sometimes I need to say NO – and when I say NO, I feel like I’m losing ground to these men.
I don’t know if there is a solution. I suppose I can’t compare myself to their situations. Every family operates differently – and my family needs me in the evenings and on the weekends, and I want to be there.
Many companies are making tremendous strides when it comes to flex-work options (mine included), but if dual-working parents are the only people taking advantage, it seems like we continue to lose ground to these individuals who dedicate all to the job. If face time, long hours and late nights remain the gold standard, then I have to relent – I am going to lose ground.
Can you relate? If you are a stay-at-home-mom, does your spouse feel pressure to excel at work? If you are a working mom, have you made similar observations?