an open letter to moms who have left the paid workforce

Please come back.

I know some of the reasons you left–wanting to teach your children your own values, not wanting to leave your babies with strangers, wanting to spend quality time with your kids, not having a job with the flexibility that a parent needs, lacking a spouse that supported your wanting to work, not having decent childcare, realizing that paying for daycare would wipe out your whole paycheck–those are all good reasons.

It’s selfish of me to want you to come back, when those situations all still exist. But I’m so tired of being the only working mom in my office. I’m tired of having to explain to everyone that I work with why I can’t go on overnights every week, or have conference calls every day at 5:30. I’m tired of going to work social events and having no one to talk to about the day-to-day cute things that my kids do, or the struggle to keep my laundry in check.

Sure, there are dads in the office. But while we might have a chat now and then about parenting, I can’t help but feel that they have a fundamentally different feeling about it than I do. The men that I work with are married to women who are the primary caregiver for their children. Some of those women work, but the men all seem to be able to work late every night, and to me, that says that their wife is the one who’s rushing home to get dinner on the table, to make sure that homework is done, and that the kids’ clothes are clean.

I’m so, so tired of feeling alone.


August 25, 2006. thoughtful parenting, work. 16 comments.