When did Mom become a bad word

Photo by Sandra Lee Photography

This photo was supposed to be of my son but when I got them I was shocked to see me.

This is how I look at my children. I’m a mom and am 100% ok with that.

This look is how I feel when I finish up a meeting and know I am going to get them.

This look is how I feel when I see them run towards me.

And yet somehow in the world of work this is often considered a “problem.” I am left wondering when the word MOM became a bad word.

In my years of HR I have heard more than a few women who have told me that they “left their mom hat at the door.” Hate having work and motherhood intertwine. That they were so much more. I didn’t know what that meant.

I was never in a position where I could untangle them. My work knew about my kid because he was in the hospital. I had to leave early to meet with daycare about a safety plan. I had to miss days to wait in the specialist office.

I was ashamed I wasn’t doing a good job. I felt like me leaving at 4 meant I was missing important meetings. I tried to hide my motherhood.

When I began working for myself for the first time I understood what those people meant. I sat in lots of HR meetings and I saw – it meant that you had such support and options that kids never came up. Work and life could be totally separate. Nanny, support spouse, parents who did daycare pick up.

I spent 2 weeks feeling like I could do that too….until I sat in a meeting and after a meeting with a candidate someone said “I wonder if she can handle it? Think she has kids?”

My eyes went wide as I looked at this team. “Do you think I have kids?” I asked. Two of them laughed and said no – ” you don’t seem like the kid type. So no nonsense. Get shit done type!”

I began angry laughing. ” I’ve got 3 kids…one of them is 4 months. I finished that report while you were still sleeping and hired 4 people while you were deciding what colour your logo should be. I know that if she was a mom she could handle it but now I’m questioning if you can…..”

Ever since then I have told every client I am a mom. Every start up, every engineering firm, everyone.

Why? For you. For me. For everyone who has sat quietly and just listened to this crap be laughed at around them.

I leave loudly (got to grab the kids). I talk about my kids so that you might feel more empowered to talk about yours.

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