The Mommy Track

I now understand why women wait later on in their careers to have children. It can be difficult once you are getting started in your career to have a child because not only do you have to make sure that you do your job correctly and efficiently every day of the week (meaning getting a case of “Mommy Brain” is a major no-no.), but you also have to find a way to juggle the care of your family and maintain the high level corporate lifestyle you planned. Many of us are doing the best we can only to deviated to the “Mommy Track.”

Today I read an article about Goldman Sachs being sued by a former vice president who felt she was pushed onto the Mommy Track. Apparently, the woman was demoted when she came back from her first maternity leave and fired when she returned from her second maternity leave, after she switched to part-time; an option that is available to all employees.

The article reminded me of my experience with maternity leave. I planned my exit plan down to the last second of my pregnancy. I shared my plan with my supervisor and her supervisor in a meeting/writing. We agreed that I would be out for the typical time and that when I came back I would work part-time for the first two weeks so that I would be able to be get adjusted to the Mommy/Marketing Coordinator life. The result? Laid off the month after my return. Now granted the company wasn’t doing well, but in looking back I know I was on the list to terminate because my supervisor called me the week before my return to see when I was coming back. At the time, I thought they were genuinely interested in me coming back. I won’t be able to prove that allegation, but needless to say that it has caused me to plan my next pregnancy and be as prepared as possible for any negative consequences.

In the case of the woman from Goldman Sachs, that was case was dismissed, probably because this type of discrimination is extremely hard to prove. Especially since now many women are “trading money for family.” The lesson for all career-minded women who are considering having children is to do thorough research on the company you currently work for. Find out if there are women who have successfully gone on maternity leave and what was the result when they came back. And even though it shouldn’t matter, find a way to gauge your boss’s attitude about working mothers. This will help you find out whether you should look for another job or begin the baby making process!

For more information about the Mommy Track, take a gander at the following article from


Equal Work Doesn’t Mean Equal Pay

It’s a proven fact that women comprise half the workplace. And it’s even more documented that women make less than men, even if they occupy the same position.

Over and over again, these reports can be seen and yet no one seems to want to rectify the issue. Instead of coughing up the dough to make equal work mean equal pay, companies are creating better flex-time and working from programs that will assist working mothers and there are even some companies that offer reimbursement for adoptions.

As someone who takes advantage of these programs at my own place of employment, I have to admit that while I am thankful to have the opportunity to work from home if needed, I would rather have the money. Don’t’ get me wrong, I enjoy my job, but I still have to do my part to take care of my family.

I think what bothers me the most is that companies fail to realize is that gender roles in this country are changing. They have yet to understand is that there are some women who are the breadwinners of the home and rely on their paycheck to handle the majority of the bills.

There are companies that offer mentoring programs for women to help them further advance in the company, but what is the point of these types of programs when the women will not make as much as men in the position.

Two Years Later…Reflections of Being Laid Off

It’s been two years since I have been laid off. I feel immensely blessed because there are so many people out there that are unemployed and don’t know where their next meal is going to come from. Some people may think it’s strange that I make a big deal out of noting when I became unemployed, but I think it’s a way of counting my blessings.

Being laid off was such a shock to me. I was laid off one month after I returned from maternity leave. It was a poor time to be let go (as if there is ever a good time) because we were just getting back on our feet from the loss of income from my being on maternity leave. I was trying to adjust to being a nursing working mom that desperately missed her child.

I am not going to deny that I cried like a baby. I worried about where our next meal was going to come from and what would happen to little Sydney because she needed to have her shots. Thankfully, Michigan has the MI Child program, which ensures that every child receives the blessing of health care.

And though I was only unemployed for three months, the effects of being laid off will follow me throughout my professional career as well. I learned that being a “silent employee” doesn’t mean that you are protected from being let go. In fact, unless you are in the “in crowd,” nothing really protects you from losing your job. The best thing that anyone can do is do their job to their best ability, speak up when necessary and go home.

Now that it has been two years, I can honestly say that I am in a different place. I can look back on my former place of employment and remember the good times. I don’t harbor any ill will against anyone and can thoroughly appreciate the blessing the Lord gave me. Think about it..I didn’t have to search and search and search for a job. While I was laid off, I got to spend additional time with my infant and really had the time to prepare to go back to work. The Lord blessed me with another job within three months that has flex time, a working from home policy and allows me to work in the capacity that I truly enjoy (which didn’t happen right away, but thank the Lord it finally came!)

For those who are struggling being laid off, I am a living testament that it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Though it may be difficult, I encourage you to stay positive. Your blessing is on the way.


Ugh…I’m Sick

I am so disgusted with myself. I couldn’t even get through the month of January without getting sick.  And not just the sniffles sick…we are talking full blown hold your toilet seats stomach flu.

Thank goodness I have a job that allows me to either work from home or be home sick when I need to.  But as appreciative as I am that I have the right to stay home when I am really sick, I still feel a little guilty that my absence is putting more work on my co-workers.

Catherine Cummings, MD, MSN, a health sciences assistant clinical professor at the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine was interviewed at and offers a little checklist for assessing whether someone should stay at home or take the the rest of infecting others by going to work.

  • How well can you carry out your work duties? If you’re feeling quite sick, “you’re going to have a hard time functioning and performing at your normal level,” Cummins says.
  • Are you contagious? If you have a viral or bacterial illness, you’ll expose your coworkers and they in turn will infect others. Staying home when you’re sick helps to curb germs in the community. “It’s to contain the illness,” Cummins says.
  • Will resting at home help your body to overcome the illness? “We see a lot of worsening symptoms because people will just not stop and rest. They want to go; they want to be able to do everything that they normally do,” Cummins says. “What they don’t understand is that they’re pushing themselves to the point where they’re actually a lot sicker at the end of two to four days than they would have been if they had just taken that first day off and let their body fight the infection.”
  • Are you taking medications that could impair your ability to think, work, operate machinery, or drive? Let’s say, for example, that you’ve been prescribed Vicodin for back pain and it’s causing fuzzy thinking. “If you’re so sick that you’re using opiates or any controlled substance to control pain, you really need to stay home,” Cummins says. “You shouldn’t be driving, and you could have your performance impaired or it could even be dangerous.”

Lastly, use the golden rule, Cummins says. “Treat others as you would like to be treated. Think about if you would like it if someone came to work and coughed on you all day.”

And with that…I’m going back to bed!



Shots Have Side Effects?

Last Friday, we took our little one to a new pediatrician. The office wasn’t as colorful and kid friendly as our last pediatrician, I was pleased that the staff seemed knowledgeable and the pediatrician was friendly and seemed to have answers regarding my concerns.

I was also happy that they addressed my concerns about the well-baby insurance. Immunizations can use all of the money allocated for well-baby visits, causing the parents to owe quite a hefty amount to the doctors to cover the costs. At this doctor’s office, they told me not to worry. The state provides immunizations for those who are low income or for patients who do not cover immunizations. My husband and I breathed a sigh of relief.  We could keep our money in our pockets this time. We were happy and Syd seemed pleased with everyone too.

At least until the shots came.  Boy, I think you could have heard that child around the block! And with good reason too. They gave Syd four shots and they took her blood as well. Though she was angry, I felt better that she was immunized and she promptly went to sleep when we got to the car. We took her to see her grandparents at the church and she played her little heart out. All was well and I could successfully work from home, er church.

Next thing I know the little girl can’t walk. She was screaming as if she someone had punched her and it just caught up with her. Anxious to get all of the bags out to the car, I set her down to walk her and she couldn’t move a muscle. The look in her eyes told me that she was trying and it just wasn’t working. That scared me. I felt it in my spirit that something was wrong with my baby.

I worried enough for the entire family. After two days of taking Tylenol for the pain, Syd is back to her normal self, but I can’t help but think that something in those shots made her that way. Was it the amount of the shots or a specific shot that caused her to not be able to walk?

I have decided to research the shots she was given to see what the side effects are and plan to limit the amount of shots Syd can be given in one visit. Can’t just rely on the medical field to decide what’s best for my baby.