Friday, June 16, 2017

Work-Life… Don’t Ask Me.

I have spent the last 2 days, and countless hours leading up to this time, planning with the fantastic 2017 Women in Leadership Summit team. This is a summit that focused on the momentum of women in leaderships for our dealers, customers, and internally within our own organization.  As we progress through day 1, an amazing comment was made from the audience, "Why are we [women] always asked about work life balance, but not men? Do not ask me this! He has kids just as much as I do, if you ask me be prepared to ask him as well. Is he not equally accountable to his own family?!"

This reminded me of  blog post that I wrote in May in 2013 Click Here, Link: http://www.duvettodesk.com/2013/05/work-life-what.html, I titled this blog post "Work-Life -What?!?!" I remember being so upset with all the question I received as my husband and myself settled into our new home in Waco, Texas. A lot of questions like:
  • "You moved for YOUR job?"  Yes, why is that completely unimaginable to you?
  • "How does he feel about the move?" I could not tell you… because I am not him. But he loves Texas, so win-win.
  • "You don’t stay at home with your daughter?" No, because I work and she goes to school.
  • "Does HE not make enough?" How about I LOVE my work and it fulfills me, it has nothing to do with money. P.S. He does earn a living as well.
  • "Does it bother him that you make more money?" He is a man and he is comfortable in his own skin.

I remember hearing these questions from mostly, other women. Women that I met at my daughters new school. Women that worked with me. Women that were wives of my peers and colleagues at work. Which in hindsight is a bit shocking to me, because it is sometimes women that hold ourselves and each other back. We should never guilt one another for choosing to stay at home or choosing to work. Women tend to be a bit more overt in this space, while men a little more subliminal. Which is an issue, either way. 


I recall a moment that I about died in the grocery store when I ran into my colleagues wife during the middle of the day. I was just returning from maternity leave and I had my new 8 week old baby, Charley, with me. We saw each other and stopped to talk for a few moments - shopping carts in tow. She asked me, "IF I planned to return to work." (very strong emphasis on "IF") I stated, "Oh, I am already back. Just going back in a slower transition because we are also relocating" She replied, "I am so glad my husband makes the kind of money, HE makes, and I am lucky enough to stay at home. I could not image having to leave my new born baby with a complete stranger. It must be so hard for you."

Well, no. No it is not. I am a better mother for it. I know, understand, and love the moments that I have with both my girls. My "balance" is that when work needs me, I am there. When my girls need me, I am there. My husband and I make it work, we may not always get an A+ in life each day. But a solid B average is good enough for us.  

However, I implore you, please do not ask me about my balance if you would not, are not willing, or do not consider asking my male counter parts the same line of questions.

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