It’s a new year, the holidays are over and I am back at work. Let me clarify, I’m a work from home mom, so I was always at work. But now that everyone else is back at work, I can actually get more work done. The last 2 weeks, my 4 year old son, who has autism, has had no school and almost no therapy. In between laundry, dishes, phone calls, emails, writing and editing I have also been entertaining, coaching and teaching my brilliant child how to negotaite this wacky wonderful world.
Yesterday morning was a typical, crazed morning – Washer going full tilt, gluten-free pancakes cooking on the stove while I answer an email and turn on the TV to give my child a daily dose of PBS, but instead as I turned on the TV I hear, “Coming up in our next segment – How Mom’s with small children can return to the work force from home.” Great, I want to hear what they have to say.
So PBS is postponed, I continue flipping pancakes and answering the phone while keeping one eye on my child and the other on the TV. Look, this is my reality. I don’t have the luxury of sitting down and watching a show start to finish – unless I DVR it -but I didn’t. I was busy – and then they ticked me off. In fairness I didn’t hear the lead in – so maybe there was a redeeming statement, I don’t know. But the “expert” suggested in looking for a job that Moms volunteer first – to see what opportunities are available, make sure that they have the time, and to show a prospective employer what they have to offer. THAT TICKS ME OFF!
I have seen Suzie Orman’s Woman and Money on PBS (alright, I’ve seen parts of it, because I did DVR it) and Suzie brings up an interesting point about voluteering – how come women are always telling other women to volunteer? You never hear men telling other men to volunteer. Don’t get me wrong, I think volunteering is a great thing and everyone should be doing it – But when you need to put food on the table and you need a job to do it – what kind of advise is “You should volunteer first”? What? If a man came to this woman looking for a job would she ever in a million years suggest he volunteer – I don’t think so. But because you took off 10 months or 5 years after having a baby now you have to donate your time to get your foot back in the door? I don’t think so!
I’m sorry to say that I didn’t listen to anything this “expert” said after that. Clearly she was only speaking to the three bored millionare housewives sitting in Orange County with nothing but money and time on their hands while their nannies are taking care of their kids. For those of us in the real world, we already donate enough of our time to the causes we are passionate about, and now our newest passion, our children, have caused a shift in our time, our priorities and our bank balances. We need real solutions about how to make our home economy work while being able to nurture our children, instead of dropping them off at daycare. We don’t need some “expert” telling us to give away our talents for free. The world under values stay at home moms enough. We need to stand on a mountain top and proclaim our time as valuable and precious, and never offer it up for free.