The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Working Mothers Are More Respected

I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but I know I had something to do with it. 

I started working again at my old company.  Doing the same things I’d done before the call to write my book practically blew me out of the office park.  Maybe I needed proof my masters’ degrees hadn’t gone to waste.  Maybe I was sick and tired of the startled reactions I got when I answered the ‘what do you do?” question with “I’m a writer” and nothing hardcover to back it up.  

Most likely it’s because I was tired of not making any money.  I wasn’t pulling my weight financially; just the three kids, laundry, groceries, dinners, lunches, bills, dog (yes we have one now) social calendar, team snacks, and carpools. 

I mentioned to a realtor friend that I was going ‘back to work’ and she got all excited – too excited, actually. That’s when I realized I was way more interesting to her than the mom who wouldn’t take phone calls during the writing hours of ten to twelve.

So the first day I show up, there’s the inevitable, “Hey I was here when this company was still an idea around Martha’s dining room table!” that makes me sound historic, if not informed.

I’m walking around, trying to remember that authoritative strut I had then; they obviously need the visual reminder of who I am around here.  One of the new guys, who’s working on the kind of healthcare reports I used to do in my sleep, stops to hear my spiel. He’s never heard of Martha. Then he asks me, “So what have you been doing these past FIVE years?”

The emphasis is mine, not his, but that’s how I hear the question.  I stumble over my answer, honestly because I hadn’t worked on the list that I’ll kick myself for not organizing ahead of time (had a baby, carted her around to above list of duties; wrote content for a global warming non-profit; wrote my book’s first draft, chaired a search committee for our school).

The point is I had an answer – lots of answers.  But after my hesitation lasts two seconds too long, he nods with a smile, “Hey, just being a mom is a lot of work.”

“Yeah, that’s right,” I said, feeling humiliated without understanding why.  He walks away with his coffee mug, and I recognize his jaunty gait.  

He REALLY works, it says to me. 

By Kimberley Kwok

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