Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Laugh

This bit gave me a chuckle.  Thanks, CFVixen, for the forward.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Laugh

Thank you to Heather for forwarding this cartoon from the Oatmeal. I laughed so hard, I almost spit my hot chocolate all over my keyboard!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why Do Women Lie About Motherhood?

Here is a question for my readers:

When you read the dozens of posts by regretful mothers that I have linked to on this blog , what kinds of questions do you come up with?

I have a few, but the question that is in the forefront of my mind is: 

Why do women lie to each other about motherhood?

Many mothers enjoy parenting and are happy to be moms, but it is clear that there are also many who are unhappy.  Some desperately so.  Some even suicidal.  As we have seen, these mothers are coming out of the woodwork to express their displeasure on the internet where they can hide behind their computer screens in a shroud of anonymity and commiserate with the many other similarly miserable moms.  Most claim that while they love their child(ren), they hate being a mom.  Many say they wish they never had kids and that if they could do it all over again, they wouldn't have children.  Some advise others who are contemplating having children NOT to do it.  Many say motherhood has stripped them of their identities - that they are shells of their former selves and they would do anything to get their former childfree lives back.  Many say motherhood is a scam and they are angry about how they were lied to and hoodwinked into a life that is nothing as promised.

So who is doing the scamming?

I would argue that many of the women who are miserable being moms, regret it with their entire being and would do anything to go back to their life before children, are the very same women who are scornful of the childfree, lie to other women and continue to promote the "scam"  that having children is the one true path to happiness and fulfillment.

How do I know this is true?  It's simple math.  While many, many women are catharting all over the internet about the hell that is motherhood, in our day-to-day lives we hear virtually NOTHING but glowing reviews from women about motherhood.  So somebody is lying, or at the minimum withholding the truth.

As always, I have my theories.  I think there are many reasons a woman lies to other women about motherhood:

1.  She feels she can't be honest and admit how much she hates it because to do so would immediately label her as a "bad mom".  And that is a really painful label to wear.

2.  She is afraid that if she admits she hates being a mom, people will think she doesn't love her child(ren).  Again - this would label her a bad mom and a horrible person.

3.  She is worried that there is something wrong with her.  Since everyone else claims motherhood is the pinacle of existence, a woman's "most important role", and "so worth it", they must be right.  There must be something wrong with her and she must be defective in some way.  This is a hard thing to accept so she pretends it isn't so and deludes herself and everyone else into believing that she too is happy and fulfilled by her role as mother.

4.  She wants to appear happy and successful, and one way to accomplish this is to claim that she is happy with the choices she has made and the path she has taken with her life.  To say she is unhappy and regretful would result in her being perceived as a loser, and that hurts too much.

5. It is simply too painful to admit that she royally fucked up her life, because unlike other life choices, she can't undo this mistake.  Having kids is for life.  So it's better to pretend and lie to herself and others that motherhood is her greatest joy than to face the fact that she is facing a lifetime prison sentence.

6.  She is jealous of her childfree friends, and it kills her to constantly be reminded of the great life she once had.  Perhaps "misery loves company" comes into play here. By lying about motherhood and converting others to the awful motherhood role, she reduces her exposure to happy, unencumbered women - women who are a constant stream of salt in her wounds and reminder of what she lost.

Would anyone else like to add their theories as to why women lie to each other about motherhood?  I hope my mom readers will chime in on this one.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another Installment from the Regretful Moms

The "I Hate Being a Mom" thread on the Secret Confessions web site is still going strong.  Here are some choice recent posts. 

"I’m so glad I found this site! I’ve been sitting here so miserable and depressed hating my life. Did I mention I FEEL ALONE AND ISOLATED??? I felt so ashamed for the way I feel hating staying home with my kids (and resenting my kids). They whine, cry, mess up the house and I’m ready to throw them out the window lol Not really but I want some God Damed time to myself! I’m older and stupid me started over and ended up having a special needs kid, then another who is still on the boob at 2 years old. I’m tired of dealing with food allergies, special diets and a stupid husband who went out trying to find somebody else to **** behind my back! I wish I could do that cause boy am I sick of this life. I have no identity, no longer have work experience and HATE HATE HATE my life! I can’t wait until my grow the **** up and move out but by then, I will be old and washed up! It sucks going through menopause and raising little kids! THANK GOD FOR MENOPAUSE cause I NEVER EVER want another kid! Boy, that felt good to get out! Oh, and I NEVER GET A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so sick and ******* tired of staring at the same four walls 24/7/365 And my husband wonders why I’m so miserable!"

"Yes I feel the same as you. Like completely knocked out and frazzled. I hate the feelings of most days having literally no strength and energy and feeling so weak. Other people just don’t seem to understand the feelings of fatigue and how bad it is. I try and see my Doctor, no matter who it is no help whatsoever. They don’t give you any medication to help. You feel bored and unfufilled, angry, snappy and irritable on a daily basis. Sometimes I just wish my life would end. It’s a never ending drag on your energy. I wish I could just piss off by myself to a Desert Island for a while but that’s not a choice due to never having any money. So you’re trapped in the cycle of poverty and that’s even with a partner who works full time for a living but gets zero to show for it after being taxed to death and working tax credits being reduced to a pitiful amount. His promotion actually did nothing to improve our finances, they’re worse despite apparently his salary going up. It’s a never ending beating for parents. I like this page you can rant away anonymously."

"I hear ya sister, i hate motherhood too, and I can relate to most of what you write… Not sure what to do about it, but I end up spending time in the middle of the night for myself – (after being woken by my child at 3am which annoys the hell out of me) – and then of course the next day I’m tired as hell and I get more angry, and it’s just a never ending cycle…. I wish I would have never had a child and I feel so bad for saying it, but it’s the damn truth."

"I feel the same way. After I got pregnant, I realized I didn’t want the baby. I promised the dad I would never abort his children, and I thought we could make it work. We are both miserable with this child. One reason we split up was so that we could at least have some time to ourselves and enjoy a full night’s sleep twice a week.

Just this morning, I thought about how I used to pray for a miscarriage. Now I just can’t wait to get her out of the house. I work 3 nights gladly so that I don’t have to go through the ordeal of getting this 3 year old to bed.

I feel terrible about feeling this way, and I realized there must be other people who feel the same. There is such a conspiracy of silence about this, so we all feel horrible about it. But I wish I could go back in time and keep my IUD in. I miss that life so much. I only hope it gets better as she gets older."

"Say that again. I hate being a mom and most days I wish I would have never met my husband and never had kids. I hate even more that I had this awful desire to be married with kids. If I knew then what I know now I would have ran from any relationship with anything that looked like a man and been happy all by my damn self."

"I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND!!!! I hate my life to. I just feel sad and mad all the time! I don’t want to be a mom or wife anymore. I am so annoyed always having to do shit for everyone else. Cook clean..clean some more..and more and more. It never ends. I feel like my kids destroyed my body! I hate my life soooo much I some times just don’t want to be here anymore. I feel like a zombie. DON’T HAVE KIDS!!! BAD IDEA"

"I constantly feel that if only someone had told me the truth, I would have spared myself and my husband this miserable life, and could have spared two beautiful children this disgusting world."

"Oh my God! Thank you all for this. I thought I was the only one. You can never say these things to anyone because they would look at you like a circus freak! I hate who I am, that I don’t enjoy anything anymore. I’m exhaused all the time. I’ve become a great actress and when people ask me how I am and don’t I just love being a mom, I say I’m fine and being a mom is great. HUGE lie!! I also love going to work. I don’t really love my job, I’m just so happy to get out of the house and away from my child and he can be someone elses problem until 5:00 rolls around. I know this sounds horrible to most people…"

" I hate being a parent on almost every single level. I love my daughter and will do anything for her, but of course my wife and I were married for 6 years before she got pregnant (unplanned, of course)…and she was excited and I was a wreck, because my wife is 4 years younger than me, she thought of it still as all fun and games, while I knew what kind of unbearable hell I was in for.

I saw friends growing up become shadows of what they once were after their kids were born. Once happy people are now broken, miserable individuals who hate what their lives have become but put on a happy face to keep themselves from becoming pariahs.

The childless people used to be the pariahs, but of course once we had our daughter now all I see is news articles about how all these studies are saying that childless couples are happier and live longer…yeah, thanks for that.

Either way, I love my daughter and that will never change. I hate what my life has become and am willing to accept responsibility so my daughter doesn’t grow up like those neglected kids who turn out to be gangbangers and criminals because their parents never taught them otherwise and hated them enough to allow them to turn out that way.

And yes, we can be great parents and still hate what our lives have become. Having children is not rewarding in the least, and at best it is an inescapable prison. When she’s old enough, I can only hope that we hid our resentment well enough for her to be successful in life.

And our best piece of advice to her will be to get her tubes tied so she never has to experience the miserable existence of parenthood. Go out, enjoy life, and don’t get saddled by kids.

I won’t be unhappy to not be a grandparent…and I’ve already scheduled a vasectomy to ensure this travesty never happens a second time to my already intolerable life.

Am I living a lie by saying I’m a good parent but hating my existence..of course. I wanted to be a parent about as bad as I wanted to be a cancer patient, but it happened, and I’ll be damned if my daughter suffers because of my personal feelings.

One day when she’s old enough to understand, I’ll explain to her the absolute and concentrated horror that is parenthood."

"I am the daughter of a mother who hated being a parent. All through our upbringing she told my brother and I not to have kids. It was very hurtful to hear because she was essentially saying she wished she’d never had us, and for a child this is hard to understand and even harder to forgive. Needless to say, my mother and I never had a good relationship. While she wasn’t a bad parent (we got everything we wanted, we never got hit, got good educations and so on) we hated her for telling us how much it sucks to have kids. As we got older we grew more and more distant while she grew fonder of us. Today, my mother struggles to keep a relationship with my brother and I, while we could give a crap about spending time with her. The child inside of us is basically saying “Hey you didn’t want us, so now you don’t have us.” This has not been easy for her; she’s lonely and regrets saying that to her children. Bottom line is she can never make up for the first 25 years of our lives where she told us having kids is a nightmare. Also, I’d like to say we are successful both financially and in our relationships.

The lesson is this: The kids you wish weren’t around today may grow up to be really cool adults who you’ll want to spend time with. Or whom you will look to for senior care or who you will look to for financial help. When that day comes, don’t be surprised if they are not around.

Good luck!"

"I hear you. I’ve become a complete shadow of what I once was. Having a child has f**ked up my life on pretty much every conceivable level and I spend each day trying to work out how to endure this for another 17 years and hide my own despair so that my daughter never knows that my life effectively ended when I gave birth to her. And yes – what is it with people asking me if I plan to have another. I plan to hack my head off with a spoon before I’d let that happen…"

“I am so sad! i got married, bought a house so next step have kids “right” well it was a mistake. My two children are here now. I brought them into this world and i will love them and take care of them. But every day I feel “stuck & Sad” I feel like life is just passing me by. no life, no real friens i can count on. just cooking, cleaning, bath time, dropping kids off of school, bring them to dance, karate, gymnastics. WOW! this is not what i wanted. What happened to me?"

"I’m glad I found this and to know I’m not the only one. I have a 3 month old baby and I love him but motherhood has destroyed my life and my soul. I am an empty, dead shell of a person. My body is disgusting. I read all these things that say you have to make time for yourself, etc, but what’s the point of that? I would just have to come back. I know I put myself in this position and I have to do the best I can to survive each day. I put on my happy face with my son and I play with him, smile, cuddle, etc. It’s not his fault, he didn’t ask to be born and I will do everything I can to make sure he never knows how I really feel. I want him to have a happy childhood even if I am miserable. If I could have one wish it would be to go back in time before I got pregnant, knowing what I know now, and just choose not to do it. If you are trying to decide whether or not to have kids…DON’T."

"Don’t you HATE how they cannot leave you alone for one single second? I am constantly running (no exaggeration) from one room to another just to get some shit done. This is why my house is in such disarray, because I cannot accomplish ANYTHING with them around. I feel like a circus clown who’s always setting them up with some stupid damn toy or tv show then RUNNING to the kitchen to try and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher before the twins run in there and ruin the whole pathetic effort. I HATE THIS. It’s not cute, it doesn’t make me giggle and say “oh well, some day I’ll look back on this and laugh” and I most certainly NEVER say thiis pathetic mind-numbing phrase that we’ve all been subjected to our whole lives: “but they’re worth it. It goes by so fast.”. BULL!!! They are not ‘worth it’ and each day is the longest day of my life."

"This just in: i’m currently on a business trip, my spouse let me know that our almost 2 year old daughter is very feverish and sick. I am returning home tomorrow so let the fun times begin. Trip to the doctor, battle to give her the medicine, difficult nights of sleep, constant irritability, etc. Woo freakin hoo. And that’s not counting us probably getting sick too afterwards.

Ah the joys of being a parent. I know it’s not her fault, i don’t blame her. But i still have to do the parent thing and pretend that I’m cool, in control, and supportive .. When all i want to do is run and scream and get my life back.

There’s always something with young kids, always that pressure, that weight on my shoulders, whether it’s illness, or tantrums, or busy schedules, etc. I can no longer take this, this is unbearable and inhumane. I want to press “pause” on parenthood and unpause whenever I can take some more, then pause again. But I guess this is called single parent with shared custody .. Not sure that this is a better way to go.


"As I sit here in my once overly adorned pillowed king size bed..rocking my 11 week old baby girl to sleep. I google “I love my daughter but hate being a mother” and poof here this pops up. To my amazement I am not alone. I truly thought I must of missed the “mom gene” cause honestly everyday as I care for my baby I day dream of the life I once lived. I sit at my shore house on the weekends and look out to my old tanning chairs that are screaming my name. But then I look down and see the distorted striped belly that jiggles with hatred. No…no laying out for me. :( or when all I want is to
Just shower with out rushing and can’t help but think…hmmm I use to take 2 hours to get dressed. I was once a beautiful well educated girl who had lots of friends and shiny fast car and a hand full of guys in a contact list to call o days when I felt ewwy! Now my day begins and somehow in only 1 short year I am a fat jiggly woman with no makeup wait no shower. What’s make up? Sigh….:( my once perfect body has abandoned me. Where did I go?? Somehow in the midst of it all I got lost?, or discarded?? I love my daughter she’s beautiful and she’s my soul but I use to love me I use to enjoy me. And the truth is I just miss me. God…one more dirty bottle to wash one more dirty diaper to change one more toilet to clean or dinner to cook…alil more of me just washes away. And to top it off I also now have 3 unruly annoying step children to care for. One year 4 kids. I just want a bottle of oil my old bikini body a pair of head phones and a us weekly magazine…put me on a beach in the peace and quiet and then I’ll smile. No one ever told me that the minute she was born that who I was would die? Parenthood is a sham. Yes we love our children. Would most of us go to the end of the earth for them? OF COURSE!! but at the end of the day that doesn’t change the fact that there is a dirty unshowered exhausted worn out sad resentful mother standing in her house crying inside for just one more taste of what life used to be…hmmmmm….gotta go the baby is crying…….. :("

"You are right. It’s a sham and we have all been lied too, either out of malice/manipulation or just people being numb/dumb/brainwashed. But you know what? Our moms did not have the Internet at our age. They could have never googled anything, because there was no google. Just think how many women we are going to help with sites like these. I honestly feel it’s a major revolution that we are right in the middle of. We’re going to help so many people cope who’ve had kids they shouldn’t have, and we have the opportunity to speak HONESTLY with our kids some day and NEVER pressure them into having kids or giving us “grandchildren” – ugh!!!!! I get so angry when I think of how many women in my family who KNOW me could have saved me from this – but didn’t – or – “couldn’t” because they didn’t have the words or thought it was taboo. Let’s end that. Let’s be the LAST generation who let’s their kids be totally bamboozled. You can be totally in love with your kids, as I am, but hate your life and be in absolute MOURNING for everything that children take away (steal) from your lives."

"i am SOOOOOOOOO glad that someone made this thread. Maybe it will save people who are thinking of having a baby from making the most horrendous mistake of their lives. i get disgusted because so many of my friends and family pressured me into having a baby, saying “oh just have a baby it will end all your problems!”. i am 25, I got married right after i finished college and started an amazing career….everyone was like “have a baby have a baby” including my mom and all of our older family members and friends. i wish i could go back in time and SLAP them in the faces. they didn’t tell me that my life would END. i love my daughter because she is a precious innocent being, so i do everything for her and treat her like a princess BUT…ME? there is no more “ME” when u have a baby…I haven’t slept in almost a year now, sufferng from severe dleep deprivation because of a “colicy” baby who is now almost 9 months and STILL wakes up every 2 hours!!!! i am exhausted with dark bags under my eyes and i NEVER get to spend time alone with my husband any more….forget about travelling together any more….and i never get to go ANYWHERE by myself any more….i used to enjoy running by the beach in the morning, going to the book store/coffee shop, reading, going to the beach after work with my hubby, going out for dinner dates or even for drinks on weekdays with friends or hubby….now its like we are in a PRSION! me and my hubby love each other so much but we are falling apart because we no longer can do anything TOGETHER if one of us wants to do something we have to take turns watching the crying baby!!!! i havent seen a movie or done ANYTHING in about 7 months….its all about this crying screaming spoiled baby… no matter what u do to make them happy u cannot! babies cannot do ANYTHING by themselves not even BREATHE, so u have to be catering to them every second of every day…and all i hear all day is this little brat crying her head off for no reason…i dance for her, play with her, take her for walks and drives, feed her all kinds of different good foods….its like im a 24 hour SLAVE…when she finally falls asleep its like THANK GOD..and then 1 hour later she is awake crying again!!!!!! ahhhhhhhhhhh!!! she’s over 20 lbs and i still have to carry her around all day and i actually tore my right bicep…OH and another thing, i hardly gained any weight during preganncy and so now that she’s 9 months i am even skinnier than my pre-pregnancy weight, so thats not my problem BUT i have developed these disgusting man arms with big nasty muscles from having to carry this needy baby everywhere every second!!! so now my body looks unprportional like someone who lifts weights obsessively. oh and another thing people dont tell u–its virtually IMPOSSIBLE to find childcare. i wanted to go back to work but the only childcare we could find for a baby under a year old is 1200 a month!!!!!! thats more than my college tuition was!!! having a baby was the most horrendously disgusting experience of my life and anyone who says otherwise is a LIAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"don’t ever give in to the pressure! don’t let people tell you that it will answer your problems. society and our families try to mislead us to believe its some amazingly enlightening experience to have a kid when in reality all it is, is jlike having a 24-hour torturous job that you hate but are forced to do.
not ONE part of raising a baby is fun or rewarding. people will tell you its rewarding and worth it when you see your child grow, these people are in denial….yea sure, its rewarding until they start crying/screaming their head off at you like a maniac at 3 in the morning and nothing will get them to stop… and you haven’t slept in months and are so tird you could fall over! there are times when i almost fell down the stairs at 2 a.m. getting my daughter a bottle to try to get her back to sleep because i was so tired/over-worked/sleep deprived! THAT is the reality! the lies of society are just unbelievable! i won’t lie to anyone who askss me what its like to have a kid. i will tell everyone that i meet the pure truth. no one deserves to be lied to and misled!"

"I didnt sign up for this. I envy my childless friends and wish I could go back and do it over – I would not have gone this route. I want to talk to a therapist. Everyday I am filled with regret, and I feel so bad that I take my anger and frustrations out on my daughter who does not deserves this at all. I just want to overcome this and feel normal again. I want to love doing this as so many other moms do. I want to cherish these moments and want us to be the best of friends. Not blame her for ruining my life.

I do know that I will never have any kids again and I feel bad for the next man who walks into my life wanting kids because it will never happen!"

"I haven’t found a solution. I grab my moments of peace (and they are few and far between) when I can, and daydream of that day when my daughter MOVES OUT!!! And try very hard NOT to think about the fact that I will be in my mid-forties, if I’m still alive. I mean, I even dread the possibility of grandchildren, and having them thrust upon me in my later years. A stiff cocktail on my days off take the edge off a bit, and I am a bit more patient with my daughter and willing to look for the bright side in all of this, but it is a very temporary solution and not practical in the long run. I stay at work long enough to where I’m pretty sure by daughter has already been bathed, fed, and is in bed, and on those particular occasions when my husband is a little late with her nighttime routine and I walk in the house filthy, hot and exhausted and find her still running around with messy hair and stained clothes from a day of playing in the dirt it ruins my whole night and I’m sure the distaste and disappointment is evident on my face. I DREAD her birthday and Christmastime because of the hoops I am expected to jump through- I feel very uncomfortable around other parents and children and I know my daughter looks forward to parties and cake and friends and whatever, and I am loathe to disappoint her, but I literally have nightmares about these occassions and have anxiety attacks prior to any of these miserable events. And when she comes out of her room with a bratty, teary face after a nap and lays on my husband and he baby-talks to her and rubs her back it makes me want to PUKE. She has started to get into a habit of lying, and sometimes I relish the fact that she is misbehaving so I have an excuse to send her to her room. God, I feel awful about this, but how can we help how we FEEL??? Please, let me know if you or ANYONE has found a way to cope! I’m thinking maybe prescription medication??? But then I couldn’t do my job. I’m at a loss… I have basically conceded to the fact that I will be unhappy for most of the next 14 years. Unhappy, stressed out, and constantly JUDGED."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Value in the Workplace?

I just finished reading Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You're Worth by Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, which deals with the issue of women being undervalued and undercompensated in the workplace.  Unfortunately, I am currently dealing with that very situation myself and am in the process of strategizing effective ways to get my salary boosted, so when I saw this book in the library, it caught my eye.

Mika discusses the ways women are their own worst enemies and sabotage themselves by worrying too much about being liked, not being straightforward and assertive enough - or worse yet, apologizing when asking for what they want. Speaking from her own experience, her successes and failures, she talks about how women underestimate their value, are unable to say no, and believe that if they just keep working harder, the boss will notice them and reward them.

Of course, we all know that rarely happens.

Anyway, you are probably wondering what this has to do with the issue of childfreedom.  Well, the book was very good and contained much sage advice from Mika, as well as from the many prominent women she interviewed for the book - people like Arianna Huffington, Suze Orman, Valerie Jarrett and Elizabeth Warren - women who have all faced similar challenges at some point in their careers.

Where the book jumped the shark was in the next to last chapter entitled Motherhood: The Game Changer.  When I got to that chapter, I took a deep sigh.  I knew what was coming - the usual pro-mother propaganda that we have grown to expect from every media source.  In a nutshell, this is what Mika and her prominent interviewees say in the Motherhood chapter:

1.  Mothers are discriminated against in the workplace and their earnings go down for each child they have.  While some of this can be attributed to taking time out of the workforce, research shows that even mothers who don't take time off earn less.

2.  Mothers are not taken seriously in the workplace and are seen as "soft", especially if they talk about their families while at work.

3. There is a stereotype about mothers that they don't pull their equal weight at work.  While this is true for some mothers who have difficulty "doing it all", there are many mothers who work even harder because they know how limited their time is.

4.  Having children adds to a woman's value as an employee.  Mothers use their time more wisely.  "We have babies to protect, so our decision-making skills revolve around real-life issues."  (I guess those of us who have a husband, mortgage, pets, bills to pay and other responsibilities are living in an imaginary fairy land or at Club Med?).  Mothers are more conscientious, disciplined and responsible due to having children and those things add value in the workplace.

5.  The key for mothers is to work for family-friendly companies who appreciate the importance of family.  The "right boss" will let a mom leave early so she can get to the Halloween parade in time.

6.  The "bad bosses" referred to in Mika's book are usually women without kids.
7.  There needs to be a national child-care policy that makes it easy for women to enter and re-enter the workforce and offers complete support for paternity leave, so the husband can share equally in family responsibilities.

Here is my response.

Mothers earn less because they do less. They take time off to have a child and then when they come back to work, they are tired, scattered and obsessed with their child.  I know this from being a supervisor and having seen it too many times.  It's all over once a woman has a baby.  She is late for work, she is on the phone making personal calls all day long, she is constantly calling out sick or leaving work early to attend to problems with the child.  Even when there are no emergencies at home to deal with, her mind is on her child.  I have seen women come back from maternity leave, only to spend half the day waltzing around the office chit chatting about their baby or showing everyone who will look the latest photos.  We all chit chat, and we all have personal photos to share, but moms do it in excess.

Mothers are perceived as "soft" because all they are soft. Once a woman has a child, all of her mental energy and focus goes to the baby.  She loses interest in current events.  She loses her edge.  She's no longer driven.  She treats her job as a necessary evil to keep food on the table and diapers on the baby, and nothing more.  It's not her focus anymore and it is certainly no longer a priority.

I have never met a mother who worked harder than a non-parent.  I've seen some moms who work just as hard, but never harder.  I have seen many moms who simply don't pull their weight once they have kids.  I've been one of the people who's had to pick up the slack because a co-worker mom left early yet again for this doctor's appointment, or that school meeting.

I take offense to the idea that mothers have "real-life issues" to deal with, so they get down to business and get the job done.  Yet another attempt to portray motherhood as the only true way to "have a life".  If having a husband, household, bills, pets, extended family, friends, career and multiple interests is not a "life", than what is it?

I am all for "family-friendliness" when it comes to the work place, but the problem is, family friendliness doesn't usually extend to the needs of single and childfree workers.  How often do we see parents accommodated with flexibility in time off and leaving early and catered to as though their every waking moment is a priority, yet when a single or childfree person requests the same courtesy for the things that are important to her, she is denied?  "Family friendly" should be changed to "employee friendly".  All employees should be given the same amount of flexibility to deal with personal or family issues that arise, whether they concern children, pets, partners, ailing parents or whatever.

I am a boss.  I am also a woman without kids and I try to be "employee friendly".  On several occasions I have been told by my staff that I am the "best boss they ever had."  I think my childfree status makes me more compassionate to my staff because I know what it feels like to be discriminated against in the workplace - to be assumed to "have no life" because I don't have children at home, to be assumed to have all the free time in the world to stay late, fill in for the absent moms, when the truth I have a very full and active life and multiple obligations.  So I try to be fair to all employees, regardless of their home situation.  If one of my employees needs to leave early to take her dog to the vet, I have no problem with it.  If another employee's child has a doctor visit, I am fine with it.  My objective is:  be fair and offer the same flexibility to all employees.  In exchange, I expect my staff will not take advantage and abuse the situation.

My feeling about a national child care policy is this:  If a couple wants to have a child, that's great, but before doing so, they should figure out who will take care of the child, who will work, who will stay at home and how all of this will be paid for.  Having a child is a choice, it's not a necessity for life, so I do not agree that the nation as a whole should pay for and accommodate the choice of people who want the lifestyle of having kids.  If I decide to purchase a home (another lifestyle choice), should I expect there to be a national policy that provides assistance to me in making my monthly mortgage payments?  If I decide to pursue a graduate degree, should there be a national policy that requires a company to hold my job for 2 years while I go to school?  I don't think so.  So why should having a child be any different?  It's a choice, people.  If you don't like the negative impact that having a child has on your career, think twice before you have one.