Archive for December, 2007


The Working Mother, Part 2

I am writing today (December 10th) because I am home with a sick baby.  I had the flu last week but didn’t call out  because I knew that there was a strong possibility that my son would get it and I would need to stay home with him.  This didn’t stop my boss from laying a guilt trip on me when I called out this morning, reminding me that my staff would have to cover for me.  He has no children.  The stress of the working mother is directly proportional to the attitudes of the men surrounding her, especially in the workplace.

It is difficult enough for a woman to manage a full time job and a household, but last minute schedule changes and added assignments can really put a wrench in her plans.  She’s a pretty flexible person and can work at home or stay late if she have planned to do so, but it is unfair to hand her a project five minutes before she is supposed to leave for the day and expect that she’ll be able to complete it by morning (assuming, of course, she has chosen a profession in which this is not a part of the job description).  Her afternoons and evenings are filled with household and childrearing duties, and only the threat of losing her job is worth giving up the precious little time she gets to share with her children.  Instead, she’ll come in early and get her paperwork finished before everyone else just to prove to her boss that she can manage all of her responsibilities as long as she is allowed a little flexibility in doing so.

3,900 US soldiers killed in Iraq;  28,773 US soldiers wounded in Iraq



I don’t follow sports all that often, but I spent some time as a child at baseball games with my father.  I enjoy lacrosse, soccer, and the Tour De France, but my enjoyment really comes from watching the marvel of the human body and what it can accomplish.  Of course, I was under the impression that most athletes were honest and did not rely on enhancements to perform.  I find that as more athletes are exposed, the majesty of their abilities is increasingly fleeting.  They no longer serve as an example to young men and women who strive for perfection in their game without steroids and other enhancements.  Coaches working with younger athletes must find this disturbing, as they cannot point to an athlete and say, “Look.  This is what hard work and dedication can accomplish.”  No one knows which statistics are real and which are sullied by the myriad of chemical alterations available to the young star.  Even more unfortunately, my disappointment is not accompanied by surprise.  This is just another in a long line of shortcuts taken more and more frequently by Americans who used to be revered for their drive and determination.


The Working Mother, Part 1

I haven’t written in almost a month, and though I miss it, I find less and less time for it.  My job is very demanding and my son even more so.  I hate only being able to spend a few hours a day with him, so when I do, I give him my full attention.  Once he’s in bed there’s laundry, cleaning, and dishes to do.  I understand now why doctors in the past prescribed amphetamines to women who were feeling overwhelmed (and this was at a time when many women were able to stay home with their children).  It is the American way, after all.  Use a drug to cure the problem and ignore that the issue truly lies within the societal norms for raising a family.

Though most women raising families work now, the norms for how a married couple should handle the household have not changed (though it is MUCH more difficult for single mothers).  Even though Mommy must work outside the home to make ends meet, she is still expected to handle the bulk of the household chores and most of the responsibilities of child rearing.  This leaves her open to feelings of intense guilt and inadequacy if she cannot live up to the standards set by society (or her husband), though worse is the inner struggle she fights on a daily basis due to being forced to leave her child in the care of someone else (family, day care, etc…) before she feels ready to do so (usually after about 6 weeks of maternity leave).  She is constantly sacrificing herself for the good of the family and will continue to do so until society changes.

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I am not perfect. I do my best to practice what I preach, but I am human. My mantra is, "DO NO HARM". I may not always succeed, but I will always try. My goal is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

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