Yes, hearing and reading that actually makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth.
A few weeks ago, Business Week featured a “case study” online about a woman returning to work after maternity leave.
Apparently the scenario includes a boss that seems distant and a new mom unsure of how to handle the situation. Is she being treated differently because she is a mother? Is her boss upset that she no longer can put in the same long hours in the office as she did before she had a baby, even if she finishes her work at home later at night? What should she do?
It’s a scenario that’s all-too familiar to most of us and so I read it with some optimism, perhaps we would be given some productive tips on how to handle this delicate and complicated situation. After-all, returning to work from maternity leave is a big step for all of us. We realize that after many years of being dedicated to our careers, suddenly we might not be quite as dedicated anymore. Suddenly we have this living, breathing, adorable bundle at home who needs us and the importance of our work can be called into question.
As we are grappling with these very real and very big issues, sometimes we also have to grapple with the response of our boss and co-workers to the new us. While I generally despise all media commentary on working and motherhood, I read on with interest.
Until I came to a screeching halt and yelped out in anger and shock. It was almost like my computer shut down and I was no longer reading a case study but rather I was suddenly strapped into my chair and being force fed the blithering hypocrisy of Rush Limbaugh.
You see Kittens, the “expert” that Business Week used in this scenario (that has my claws out and really sharpened) goes on to suggest that it’s likely that it might not be the woman’s boss who is behaving differently….in fact…it could just be the new mom’s “hormones.”
That is my censored and highly intelligent response.
In other words, BITE ME “HR Consultant.” Here is the exact quote in case you think I’m making this up or am being dramatic, as I’m known to be from time-to-time:
“Maybe it’s not her boss that’s changed; it’s her. “I’ve seen problems caused by hormonal changes in a new mother,” says Lee.”
Have we suddenly been set back 50 years by this suggestion, or is it me?
Time after time, what we are given by the media is just a bunch of ridiculous drama that doesn’t seem to do us any good. We are hormonal, we are damaging our kids by putting them in daycare, we are failing future generations of women by stepping out of the workforce and instead staying home with our kids, and on and on and on. Blah blah blah.
As you might recall, I actually put forth a ban on gabbing about these ridiculous media stories but this one, I couldn’t resist.
It’s just your hormones, kittens, get a hold of yourself. Right?