What To Do???

Sally - posted on 03/14/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi Moms,

Hoping you can help me with my dilema. I am a professional working mother of 3 young children (ages 12, 8, and 6). Fortunately I live in a school district that still has a bus program which picks my children at the corner and drops them back off at the corner. Otherwise, working would be near impossible and very costly. When I did the afterschool program, it cost me $1,300.00 per month.Here is my situation: I work for a company that is not family/mom friendly. They are currently being sued for this very discrimination/harassment towards women and moms in the workplace. I have been there since 9/8/09. Needless to say the sales pitch was very opposite of what is reality. I have been working 10-12 hrs per day. I have a commute of 1-2 hrs one way. There have been nights I get home at 9:00pm and kiss my children as they are asleep. The environment is hostile on a daily basis. I submitted my resignation and gave my 2 wks notice this past Thursday. I reached a point where I feel used and taken advantage of . I too have felt the discrimination of being a woman/mom in the workplace. My children are suffering for this as well. Grades are slipping and I am seeing them acting out. My husband is their stepfather and has taken on a lot of the domestic roles. But he is not their Mommy. Any advice??? Ironically my job is doing everything they can to keep me - even changing who I report to. Need some sound professional/Mommy advice. My priorities are always my children. And I work to give them choices in life. But I can't help to feel that my current job situation benefits nobody but the stakeholders and Corporate America.

Thank you for reading this.

3 Comments

View replies by

Brandi - posted on 03/20/2010

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Hey there, it sounds like you did the right thing in resigning. If they are that determined to keep you, roll up your sleeves and put down in writing what will make you stay. Be very specific (M-F 7am to 4pm and I am out the door, flexibility to go to dr appts, school functions etc.) Even if you think they will never go for it, tell them this is the deal and if they don't take it then go. It sounds like you already have one foot out the door anyway...you won't lose anything, but you never know...you just might get what you want.

I am very fortunate...despite my profession being highly stressful certain times of the year (and the hours being extremely long during those same times of the year), I have a lot of flexibility. I can come and go during the day at my leisure (obviously if I were to abuse this right, I would get fired). I can leave for dr. appts, wake up in the morning and decide to take a sick day, and on rare occasions I bring one or all of the kids in with me. Not for the whole day....I would never get anything done. Today is the perfect example. I brought my four year old in with me so I could finish up a few tax returns I had brought home with me to work on. She sat at my desk and colored with my pens & highlighters and I worked for 2 1/2 to 3 hours and then we came home.

Jobs that are mom friendly do exist, but I think working moms have a lot of stress because they want to be great at their jobs and great as a mom and great as a wife. We want to be so many things to so many people that it is hard. Even with my family friendly career, I have started my own home business and will be going down to part time at my job after tax season is over. I can't wait for the day that I can hand in my resignation and work my business full time.

Do what feels right....go with your gut. Only you really understand the depth of your work situation and of your children's situation. If your family needs you, then go to them. Find a job closer to home that is more family friendly. I would definately try the wild card....give the boss the rules to the game and see if he/she is willing to play :)

Good luck
Brandi

[deleted account]

You are not even helping the company! I work in Corporate America and the good companys out there (and I work for one) understand that work life balance is a must. In order to really benefit our companies we have to be happy and focused when we are at work...your environment does not allow for that

I think you've made your decision. A situation where an employee is using words like, discrimination, harrassement and hostile, is not good. In most companies, this would result in radical change and shift of philosphy and employement practices. Since your company doesn't seem to know how to make these changes, is unable to make these changes or doesn't seem to see the need to change, they don't deserve your talent.

With that said, if money is a issue...think about this:
Contact an employement attorney for a consultation (usually $150 to $200) In the state I live in typically resignation does not equal eligibility for unemployement compensation - however, sometimes resignation under a hostile environment can change the rules of the game. Find out all of your rights. You may be able to negotiate a payout, unemployment benefits and/or insurance coverage (if you currently have it) Don't just walk away. Make them pay - you don't need to sue, but just use some muscle to provide for your family.
If you want to stay - love the job, hate the company - meet with your new boss to lay out some new ground rules. Be sure to include HR and go to the meeting with a whole list of what it will take to keep you. Not money, but work schedule, telecommuting, etc. Research some things that are done by to companies to keep working mothers happy and suggest them to the company -even if they are not being done now. After the meeting is done, and everyone has come to an agreement (ie you will telecommute on Mon and Fri, be in the office Tue- Thurs and leave by 3:30 on Wed); document the conversation. If HR doesn't for you (and by the way, I would count that as a red flag for the company) send an e-mail to your boss and HR outlining the agreement. Remind them that if they don't think this is going to work for them, you only ask that they be up front and talk to you so you all can come to a mutual agreement. If this is the route you take, I would only advise that you keep your commute time out of the conversation. Unless they moved your office, against your will, from where you where orginally hired causing the commute, you knew the drive time when you were hired. Your desire to telecommute and/or have a shortened (normal) work day is more about work life balance, not about commute.

Hope it helps and remember to put your family first...:) Good Luck

Alexi - posted on 03/19/2010

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If you were able to resign, I am assuming you are ok financially to be without a job? If so, stay home for a while and breath :) It sounds like you are/were one busy lady! You could also look into working from home with your own business. That is what I have done. It's been great!

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