Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal had an article on the “Walk of Shame.” For all of you mamas out there who work outside the home, especially in professional, salaried roles—you know exactly what I am referring to. It’s that walk that you have to make from your workplace’s entrance all the way to your office or cubicle, passing all your coworkers who are busy working already, and then again, having to walk back at the end of “your” day.
I myself do the walk of shame on my way into the office after dropping the kids off at daycare, usually getting in around 9 a.m. Then I leave before 4:45 p.m. to be sure I can beat traffic, pick the boys up at a decent hour, and then be able to spend time with them at home before their bedtime; and those are only on the days that I actually make it in to the office and not have to telecommute or have pediatrician, dentist, school events, etc. to attend with my kids! Of course, I am always connected, and am online before and after I get in, but I do get the occasional “nice of you to make it in” comments from time to time, but to me, I really don’t mind because for some reason, I am not ashamed at all of this twice daily walk and the time I put in because I let my work speak for itself. To me, and many other mamas out there, we are “allowed” this flexibility due to the work we produce on a daily/weekly/yearly basis. Of course there are the other labels that we have to deal with as professionals such as being labeled on the mommy-track, which some equate to “less committed” in the workplace.
Personally speaking, I am proud to say that I can be committed at work and also committed at home. I just think mamas in general are able to balance it all better than men. I mean, when was the last time your husband took the kids to a doctor’s appointment or birthday party by himself? Better yet, does your husband even know where your pediatrician’s office is or your kids friends’ names—or for a triple bonus score—does he know their parents names?! I am a more social person than my husband. (Okay, I am a more social person than most people, but that is a different post!) So sometimes when we go to play dates or birthday parties I feel like I am taking both he and my son(s) on playdates. You know, it goes something like this, “Hon, this is Steve, Billy’s dad. He likes football and just bought the new iphone—talk amongst yourselves!”