Back to Work - Palos Verdes Peninsula,CA

Updated on April 18, 2010
J.M. asks from Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA
7 answers

Over the past four years, I have had gone through two pregnancies, had two babies, returned to work and stayed with the same employer. I’ve noticed that other's perception of me has changed. I’m a mom, no longer the super computer geek. My work ethics and skills have not wavered. If anything I feel that I am more efficient and have more& higher aspirations. My colleagues (primarily the men, I work in IT infrastructure) see me with mom glasses. Has any working mom experienced similar experiences? Please share!

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So What Happened?

thanks for empathizing with me. everyone was so right. i now feel less alone in my little world littered with techies geekie men. better yet, i understand why pregnancy, maternity, and bonding leave are company policies and the law -- to protect the worker bees. i'm hanging in there till the babies are a little older to job search. for now, staying on top of new technologies and training so when the time comes, i will be poised for a new position at another company.

More Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

Yes! The same thing happened to I'm a mom only and no longer given any opportunity for training or probably anything for that matter. But you know what I say?...I'd take that type of "demotion" any day for my son. I see my employer for a cold, corporate American "job". So, I've been casually looking to figure out something better to do with my life and how to make it happen. I don't want to work for an employer like that...and the worst part is, they pretend to care! So, in the meantime, I try to have pride in my work and a positive attitude so I don't continually say "F-You" to them in my head ;) and keep trying to open my eyes to new opportunity in my life to make a change. I updated my resume and am looking ;)



answers from Los Angeles on

Wear it with pride!

I have experienced something similar and I'm fine with it. Yes! I'm a mommy and yes! That's the most important thing to me. Folks know I leave every day on time to get my kids from daycare on time, they know I don't do dinner meetings because that's my family time, they know I take days off when the kids are sick or there are field trips. And quite honestly, THAT'S EXACTLY HOW IT SHOULD BE.

I've decided to get on my high horse with them...I don't shy away from it. My priority should be my children and they should thank me for wanting to raise productive, compassionate, smart children who will one day be adults in this world. That is a greater responsibility than anything I do at work.

Now...I get my work done and I do it very well, but I have to stay focused in order to do this...sometimes skip lunches, sometimes work at home once the kids are in bed, but that's fine to me. That's the balance I work for in life.

As long as you are doing your job well there shouldn't be any complaining...maybe if they spent less time worrying about what you are doing they get out of there quicker at night too!

Turn it around on are a mommy and that's awesome!



answers from Los Angeles on

Very common, most of the world has "mom glasses." What have they been doing or saying? Unfortunately the reality is that most people still have subconscious stereotypes about mothers (and fathers) that they are barely even aware of, and in the workplace that can be maddening and even discriminating. One example is a friend at an economics conference heard the speaker say "Let me explain it so my mother could understand it." The underlying assumption is that "mother" is someone dull, even stupid. Recently I heard someone recommend a woman for a task force, to which the response was "Don't bother, she's pregnant. She won't be engaged." The assumption is that mothers aren't as committed to work. You are not alone! I collected some of the examples I share in my book This is Not How I Thought It Would Be into a mini-quiz on these stereotypes.

Two ideas for what to do. One, be ready with a standard line to say when something comes up where they are using "mom glasses." Doesn't have to be confrontational. Maybe something like "Sounds like you are making assumptions about me because I have children. I'd appreciate it if you could avoid doing that. I am committed to my job and good at it." Two, do what you can to say and do things that clearly contradict any stereotypes you're coming up against. Saying things like, "I find it funny some people assume mothers are less committed, I feel more ambitious than ever." Or, "I'd like to get a chance to take on a bigger project." Anything that's true, but also contradicts their assumptions. And keep in mind, that they probably are barely aware of their assumptions, so you can gently educate without necessarily confronting hopefully. Good luck!
K. M.
Author, This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood To Get the Lives We Want Today



answers from Los Angeles on

Just curious- are you sure the mom glasses have a negative effect; I mean is their new opinion less favorable than before? Aside from the usual experiences (as many have already shared here in response), I also had one coworker tell me (he just told me this recently since he was retiring) that he thought being a mom changed me for the better because I'd softened, am less edgy (if that's a word; perhaps he was trying not to say "abrasive"!). I think I'm less of a control freak because you lose all control as a parent, right? Maybe some people like the new you & just don't feel comfortable telling you.
Go mom!


answers from Pittsburgh on

J., Hi, yeah, it can happen. Somehow we seem to loose something in the work place when we have kids....I don't know why, we have to juggle not only work commitments, but child care, & household responsibilities...which I think makes us all amazing! But, when you are in a male dominated industry....well, guys are VERY single minded! It seems like you have to do twice as much 3 times better to get any recognition once you have kids....and they seem to just delight in those times when your kids have to come first vs. work. Someday this will change...hopefully! Best wishes


answers from Los Angeles on

Doesn't that just suck? I haven't had to deal with this in my job (48/50 of us are women and everyone's a parent; many are grandparents) but, interestingly enough, my husband has. Prior to my getting pregnant with our daughter three years ago, the GM where he works seemed to value Tom. Now he can't get a promotion and even though he's an excellent and hard worker who's never called in sick or taken unplanned time off, he seems to be labeled a 'problem' person. He didn't even get a raise when others did a few months ago. And it's not just my husband, a few other mid-level new dads have experienced the same thing. Some of them have been fortunate to find work elsewhere. Tom's been struggling to get his own business started, but once he's off the ground, he's out of there. The GM is married, but his wife still lives in Tennessee and they have no children. I find his situation (and him) way odd.
Some people will never change, and their perceptions probably have very little to do with you as a person. Even though the economy is still tight, there *are* jobs out there. Talk to others in your field who work elsewhere. Networking is the best way to find a job where you'll be highly valued.



answers from Reno on

Yes, for a long time after I went back to work, I felt like I was being punished for being gone. I felt like I was totaly out of the loop. After being back awhile I decided it wasn't worth it, and I decided to stay at home with my kids. I started my own home business with Scentsy. With that income and saving on daycare it all worked out. I don't have any great advice for you on how to handle it. But just know your not alone, unfortunatly many women have to go through it. Good luck!

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