I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Big Dilemma

I'm not broaching a new topic in any means when I bring up the subject, trials, complications, negotiations and angst of part-time work and full-time parenthood. It's a tricky subject for everyone involved and therefore opinions and emotions run rampant.

For 3 1/2 years, I've balanced work and motherhood. Now I'm beginning to question the worth of that damn paycheck. When in the end, your boss doesn't even appreciate the 30 hour work weeks, why am I crunching the remainder of my time with household/motherly duties that I could happily spread out over the course of a week without the added stress of work?

As evolved as society pretends to be - there is still a huge stigma over the value of part-time workers. In the American work-a-holic mindset, many people get ahead by sacrificing all life balance to be available 24 hours a day, whenever, wherever for their jobs. Forget family, forget vacation, forget any sort of life outside of your job.

I HATE that mentality.

It makes the rest of us (who happen to put value on quality of life) appear lazy and unmotivated. And no one is going to make me feel like I'm a loser because I won't abandon time with my kids for a thankless boss. Because do you really think your boss appreciates all of the time/effort put into the company?

In my book, if someone puts in effort 100% of the time for 15 hours a week - their work is valuable. But if someone is "present" at a job 40 hours a week but is unproductive half the time (hello, corporate America!), somehow the perception changes. They are considered more devoted to their jobs and rewarded for it. I call it useless face time. It's the suckers that stay an hour later than everyone else, pretending to check email and doing the work that could have been completed in eight hours. Only they're missing dinner with their families to impress the boss.

Of course this doesn't apply to everyone. I do know people that work 60 hours a week and pack every minute with useful contributions. But don't look down on the working parents who choose flex-time or part-time to cope with the demanding needs of home. Our lives are complicated too.

And dear bosses of the world: try saying thank you every once in awhile.

1 comment:

  1. I tend to agree with you on the bit about filling time at work. My profession is one where we are considered professionals and, often, faculty members, and are thus ostensibly free to shape our workdays so that the work gets done without having to conform to external norms. Alas, when one tries to do that, one runs afoul of the organizational culture more often than not. I have colleagues, for example, who would never think of writing a work email outside of the 9-5, but who look down on people who are not at their desks, ready to go, at 8:00 am.