“So, you took some time off this year.”

I guess my maternity leave could be viewed that way. My story was more along the lines of how I busted my arse to get back to work – figuring out daycare, having the hubby step up for paternity leave, and tackling, head on, the work/family blend.

I’m not going to win this battle. Nor do I really even want to try. Lean in, root down, family-friendly work environments…they’re all nice, but the cultural sentiments are buried deep. And they bubble up even when you think you’ve covered your bases.

The article on Palo Alto Software, a female CEO “not leaning in”, but rather prioritizing family as part of the business environment had me drooling with jealousy. In not being able to fully understand how that could work, I shrugged it off figuring it as an anomaly, something that happens in California.

Why my malaise? I really thought I could prove them wrong or work smarter or something. But there is no substitute for the childless worker. Really, there isn’t.

No matter what my contributions or hustle or big picture thinking or managing the details or focus on the team, they see it as, “she took some time off.”

In the midst of all this, why does anyone even question why women might choose part time roles, may not strive for as much as they can in the workplace, or might choose work at home over work outside?

The thing is, I’m good at what I do, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job of getting it done. But it’s tiring trying to prove or impress the outside world. That’s what I should be taking time off from.

 

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