If Mama Doesn’t Get Promoted, Blame It on the Kids

Since I’ve been back at work (seven months), I’ve taken zero days off and worked from home only a handful of times due to baby duties. But I wonder if my coworkers think my “other job” as a mom interferes with my paid work?

According to a new Elle/MSNBC.com survey, 15 percent of people think their female bosses are shirking because of child care responsibilities (vs. 7 percent when it comes to male bosses).

I’m actually surprised the percentages weren’t higher–particularly for women. As one expert said in the article, there’s still “a double standard in how women and men are perceived when they do miss work because of a child care need.”

Men are applauded for fatherhood actions, and women are seen as not committed to the organization.

I’m curious what your experiences have been with this. Do you feel like your coworkers look down on you when you have to leave or take a day off to care for your child? Do dads get treated differently? I’d love to hear perspectives from WMAGs and WDAGs, too.

4 thoughts on “If Mama Doesn’t Get Promoted, Blame It on the Kids

  1. I sometimes wonder if people are looking at me sideways when I have to leave each day at 5 to pick my daughter up from the sitter. Since my husband works out of town, the responsibility usually falls on me, and my sitter’s a working mom, too. I try to be respectful of her and not leave my child past 6 or so. But it is funny – one day a few months ago, one of our male bosses was leaving early to go to his kid’s soccer game. I asked if he felt guilty (we’d just finished discussing the name of this blog), and he said, “Nope!” I certainly didn’t think less of him for taking some family time, but it did make me wonder why *I* would have felt so guilty for doing the exact same thing…

  2. Don’t get me started… don’t EVEN get me started.

  3. Heather Cass says:

    I work in a newsroom where all of the ones at the top are childless and work an average of 70 hours a week (in the office) and their lives are, literally, their careers.

    I have made a different choice in my life. I chose to have a family and my career — though I love it tremendously — is not the No. 1 priority in my life.

    That comes with some sacrifices — like the high-up positions that demand 70 hour work-weeks and a total commitment to the job.

    BTW —
    I found this blog while searching for a new blog to read in the 10 minutes I scarf down a salad at my desk every day since the local blog I was reading went off the deep end bashing working mothers. Rather than get angry and post flaming messages, I decided to look for a blog that made me feel better about myself. I found yours — and I feel happier already!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Of course there is a double standard! It doesn’t matter how hard a working mother works. The “perception” is that mothers are more dedicated to their family than work and that men are more dedicated to work than family. Meaning that mothers won’t put in the hours that a man will. “Perception” is reality for most employers … even if many working moms actually work HARDER than their male coworkers.

    My father is a doctor who used to sit on a board that selected new doctors for a large hospital back in the 1980s and 90s. He says if a woman doctor said anything about her family being a priority during the interviews the board (all men) did not recommend that the hospital hire that doctor. The board’s attitude was that women weren’t reliable when they had to choose between work and their kids. My father also said the board had no such concerns about working fathers.

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