Saturday, November 22, 2014


A recent flurry of news on a study out of Harvard had me nodding my head in agreement this week. The research, which surveyed Harvard business grads, found that it wasn't kids and family matters that derailed women in forging ahead with career advancement - well, not directly.
No, the real culprits were the women's partners, thus proving the old advice to career-minded women to marry down if they expected to get ahead professionally.
There are certainly still enough barriers to women achieving work-wise - the #shirtstorm debacle summed most of these up in a nutshell, without even touching on the mummy track, the mummy penalty and all the special penalties due post-baby.
Being at the frontline of trying to create some kind of career in, around and in spite of my family, I can certainly vouch for the partner obstacle theory. And it's not done deliberately from what I can see - it's pure ignorance, rather like hapless Matt Taylor and that bloody awful shirt. There just isn't a clue.
While Dr. Taylor should have been a little ore self-aware on his choice of clothing, I'm not heaping 100% blame on my obstructing partner - his failure is mostly ignorance thought I suspect it's wrapped up in a good dose of higher earning power compared with my paltry work-from-home hourly rate (which I happen to think is pretty damn good btw - I'm very proud of getting here and I love my work).
The ignorance is cultural, and it manifests as extreme obliviousness to all matters domestic. I'm not going to even try to list the niggles, but suffice to say, initiative is seldom taken and I'm blown away by how little her considers. Again - not totally his fault as I don't think many men are wired to think domestically. I sort of guessed it would be difficult for him with me moving back into paid work since it would mean that technically I wouldn't be so available to manage the domestic/childcare duties ... or at least I naively thought that we would move into a more equal arrangement ....
OK - I've certainly made things easy by picking up the slack on groceries, meal planning, childcare, the school run, school admin, scheduling, housework, organising leisure activities and dates, laundry, household maintenance ... wait! this wasn't going to be a list.
It wasn't until we went through the selling process and the renting process and the packing to move process that I realised what a craply disproportionate load of the whole affair I was shouldering (I think I gave a blast of it on the blog at rock-bottom).
The problem with shouldering the domestic load is that it is energy-draining, mundane and monotonous - there's no respite, it is time-consuming, and it is not that rewarding. The rewarding stuff should be spending time with the Wee Guy, my work, being creative.
I should have enough energy to build on my fledgling career, tiny and limited though it is, there is real potential for it to grow into something intensely rewarding for the long term.
I should have energy and feel energised to appreciate time I do spend with my son, rather than have half an eye on a work assignment, finish off the housework while he does homework, or otherwise be so distracted when he's around.
I should feel that the parenting and the domestic stuff and the household income earning is being managed equally, instead of lopsidedly biased in terms of an hourly rate lording over actual hours spent.
I should have energy for leisure time - damn, I should have leisure time period. I keep mumbling vaguely about getting more exercise - it never happens.
What I shouldn't be feeling is constantly overwhelmed, snappy and exhausted.
I have cut so much out of my life to make time already that this is now all I'm down to. But maybe I should give up the work and the art, to concentrate on the domestic - it would certainly free up some time. I could ask for more help (again) - I could nag. I could instruct, draw up lists, project manage ...
But is that really all I'm here for? This is the 21st century after all and we are grown ups.
ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!