Apr 24, 2012
Thoughts on Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day
Thursday (April 26) is national Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. My daughter is excited to visit my office, and I’m equally thrilled to bring her along. It’s a treat for both of us.
As a working mom, it’s tempting to give up on finding the ever-elusive balance. I prefer to splurge on the occasional latte instead — a reward for flying by the seat of my pants to meet a deadline. Besides, moping about doesn’t make for teaching moments for my daughter.
So Thursday, I’ll bring her along to the office and hope to show her that mommy has an amazing job in a mostly male-dominated field of engineering, architecture and construction. Perhaps I’ve become too cynical over time, and of course, I’m still struggling with the guilt of being a full-time mom with a daytime career. Whatever is at play, I have little tolerance for the “survival” tips society throws us in an effort to find balance. I’m not surviving work; I’m living it.
I’d like for my daughter to see firsthand, that co-workers can be great friends, that meeting a deadline can be a thrill and that helping meet an objective shared by many can be quite rewarding. I’ve had days where I brought home a round of ice cream to celebrate nothing more than crossing off all items on my illegible "To-do" list. I’d also like for my daughter to learn that playing Legos, reading The Hobbit together and baking a late-evening treat has nothing to do with surviving anything, but everything to do with focusing on the moment and enjoying it while it lasts. It’s a shift in priorities, rather than a balance.
Let’s not kid ourselves. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. By the time a busy mom enjoys her second cup of coffee at the office, the time inequality has already been set in motion. What matters is the shift in priorities after work. I focus on the three remaining hours of quality time before the kids go to bed, rather than harping on the past eight.
Yes, working moms may be frazzled, swamped and crazy at times, but we can also be role models. Do we make it look easy? Sometimes… even if it’s anything but. Do we set a great example? I certainly try.
When I take my daughter to work Thursday, I’ll take an extra five minutes to introduce her to the team. If she walks out later that day wanting to be an engineer, that would be wonderful. If she walks away knowing that both motherhood and a career can rock, that will be amazing.
Marion Kase is a Berks County, PA mom of a preschooler and a 4th grader. This post was adopted from her blog, Helicopter-Caterpillar.