Sometimes the women at work wish the men at work knew what it is like to be us. Life as a working mother can be tenuous and difficult. Many things just naturally fall to the woman. We find ourselves managing the family calendar and facilitating much of the domestic duties. We tend to do a higher percentage of gift buying for family/friends and routine cleaning. At the office, we tend to take on more organizing, scheduling, and documentation tasks.
Often times the emotional bond is stronger between the women and the children since women nurture by nature. Therefore, many times women shoulder emotional burdens for their children. This has evolved from a time when women didn’t work outside of the home and although the number of working mothers is higher than 50%–many other traditions have not changed. While working, often times the working mother is juggling children issues, children’s school issues, as well as aging parents.
We sometimes wish the men at work could see the ‘whole’ picture of our responsibilities and tasks. Sometimes we are tired and worn out. Try to envision the WHOLE person, seeing us for all that we do. Visualize a worn out, exhausted lady on the verge of a complete meltdown – and, from what I hear from others (laugh) this is a pretty actual picture of reality.
So – what am I asking of you? Don’t schedule that 7AM mandatory meeting that you were thinking of scheduling. Make it for 8:00AM or 8:30AM. Don’t have weekly meetings at 7PM that keep us away from our children till after they are in bed. Consider encouraging us to take vacation days. Organize and plan a work schedule that works for a diverse workforce with a variety of home situations. Single dads deal with these issues as well. It makes working a constant juggling act. Commit to making your organization friendly for a diverse workforce with varying family responsibilities and needs.
Try to ‘live’ aware of all that the women must do and react accordingly. This is what we all wish the men at work knew and understood.
Reference: Time Magazine article on the State of the American woman. This article highlights the many changes that have happened for women in the workplace since the 70’s, yet also points out the struggles in managing it all…
“At times it seems as if the only women effortlessly balancing their jobs, kids, husbands and homes are the ones on TV.”
by Bethany Williams