This email is specifically targeted to the 193 trusty readers of my old blog. Some of you (okay, 2 of you that I can name) asked, over the years, why I stopped writing my blog AND whether I'd ever start it up again. I explain the "why" in the updated ABOUT section (summary = I was licking my wounds after shutting down my startup). The do it again part? Well, it took me awhile but I got the itch to write. Hopefully, you have the scratch to read.
How 'bout that metaphor? That's what happens when you don't write pithy blogs for 3+ years. Let's focus on this past year, shall we?
Momma got a job. A real-life, honest-to-goodness-paycheck-gets-deposited-weekly-to-my-bank-account job. Not a chair position on a volunteer committee. Not a startup I'm running from the kitchen. Not a novel I'm writing in the carpool pickup line. I even have a fancy title - "President of Development." After a 14-year hiatus (during which time I brought two humans into this world and set them on the course to good citizenship, built a new home, learned a whole damn lot about the tech world, hosted a lot of parties, advised a lot of friends and helped raise a fair amount of money for schools), I'm finally back in the workforce. I'm relevant. I'm impressive. I'm an inspiration to others.
Wait. Is that sarcasm you detect? Oh, my lovely smart readers, how I've missed you so very much.
The world is a funny place -- and "mom-work" is often the butt of the joke. Here's the thing -- I love my job. It was the missing piece of my "looking-for-balance" puzzle. BUT working at the office, with adults, out in the high-stakes world of Hollywood has made me realize how important my job as mother really is AND yet, how little that title means in society. President of Development? People say, "Wow." Stay-at-home Caregiver? People politely nod then look past me for someone more interesting to talk to in the crowd. Sure, okay, maybe I run with a tough crowd. But last I looked, LinkedIn's algorithm didn't rank "Mother" as a high job term.
But for the grace of a woman, my boss -- who is also a mother -- I would be staring at the hole in my resume, wondering how to craft a legitimate job title to explain how I hadn't farted away the last 14 years of my life. I am one of the lucky ones. But what about all the stay-at-home-moms who want to re-enter the workforce who don't have an amazing woman offering them a job? How do they explain their relevancy? Their acumen for the job?
Oh, I wish I had the answer! But I do have some thoughts (that, yes, can be crafted nicely into a numbered list):
1. Please don't say that it's a woman's fault for not "Leaning In." This isn't about the "Lean In." It's about the perception of titles, the low-value associated with caregiving and the false belief that a 9-5 job title (or graduate degree) is the only indicator of a human's career potential.
2. Certainly not all stay-at-home moms are awesome... but wow, a lot of them are. Can we figure out a hiring process that rewards the good ones? Trust me, a mother of two knows a lot about project management, effective sales pitches, efficient work processes, personnel supervision and, my favorite, grit-and-perseverance. Try saying, "No" to a mom. Seriously, try it.
3. Striking a work-family balance depends a lot on the mindset of the person running the company. If the boss (be he a father or a son; she a mother or a daughter) doesn't really respect the societal importance of good parenting, then it's going to be a tough slog. But with enlightened leaders, anything is possible. Sick days, kids in plays, kids out of school, kids needing mom home early tonight because they've had a rough go of it... if the work gets done, who cares if Mom isn't in the office? Think outside the box, people.
So, with that in mind, I'm off to tuck some kids in bed then finish reading a script before I head to sleep.
Thank you for reading -- and thank you for coming back!