My thoughts about my experience are coming soon. But here are a few of the responses I enjoyed the most.
Ingrid from TX wrote:
Thank you for this intelligent, honest, and inclusive discussion about the struggles we face to fit career, motherhood, and sanity into the same life. This podcast affirmed my frustrations, relieved my guilt, and inspired me. As a result, I had an honest and risky conversation with my employer of 8 years about the imbalance. I am a single mother of two children, ages 4 and 14. My commute is 1 hour each way at rush hour. I sat down with my boss and said, "This doesn't work for me or my children and I'm prepared to walk away to figure out what works." The next day I had a new part-time schedule complete with benefits that will allow me to work while my teenager is at school and be home at the same time he gets home. To be fair, my boss and my company are an amazing blessing. But I had to ASK. I had to make them aware. And I had to be convicted that this is my priority because they could've told me that I'm replaceable. Now I'm wondering and hoping: Maybe the problem and the solution lies in us. Maybe we need to stop accepting the status quo and asking for what we need. Maybe we will get it. And if enough of us ask, maybe the status quo will shift because employers will reap the benefits of loyal, happy, less-stressed employees who are working for their families on all fronts. Thanks again. This changed my life and the lives of two little members of the next generation. Keep talking.
Nicole from WA wrote:
Thank you, thank you for this insightful deep look into the issue of working parents. It is so good to hear other people talking about the struggle my family faces every day in an environment where it seems my peers have accepted the struggle as par for the course. The generation of feminists who came before us, grateful as we are, combined with an economy that requires two incomes to survive, has left us with impossible standards to uphold. I am a mom in tech. I recently, and suddenly, left my full time job at a small startup–without a plan, without savings, while I am responsible for two-thirds of my family's income. I am certain it was the right choice, but the fact that I had to make the choice in the first place is what is wrong with the system. I should be one of the lucky ones. I have a good education, I work in a field that is fulfilling and has high earning potential, my husband is willing and eager to participate in the parenting roles. And still, we find ourselves shaking our heads, thinking it shouldn't have to be this hard. When we were both working full time we were barely scraping by due to the high cost of childcare. Like Anne Marie and her husband, we thought we could split it 50/50. But it is very difficult to find rewarding professional work that allows you to work less than full time so you can contribute your 50% to the parenting. As I am out there applying for jobs and networking, I get "are you kidding me?" looks when I say I want to work part-time, with flexible hours. It feels like the message from both men and women is "Who does she think she is? Why should she get special treatment?"