Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Mommy Track: Guaranteed Employment in a Hurried World

When I left the corporate world behind almost a decade ago, I figured I would also leave behind the hectic pace that went with it: endless meetings, working lunches, long days. After 25 years of that schedule, it’s no wonder I longed for the mommy track. However, it seems a frantic schedule is a bit more difficult to walk away from.

My days are still filled with endless meetings. But instead of discussing the Gross National Product, we now discuss that gross blob under my daughter’s bed. As we rush from school to hip hop to art, I hear myself repeat my mommy mantra: “Hurry up. We don’t want to be late for (fill in the blank).” Yet, it wasn’t until I heard my daughter parroting these sentiments ─ “Hurry, mommy. We’ve got to beat feet.” ─ that reality hit home. I have no idea where she got that expression, but it’s clear she understood the meaning.

What happened to that leisurely schedule I had fantasized about? Did I subconsciously need this frantic schedule, this heightened sense of urgency to make myself feel important in my mommy role? What I now realize is that to be a successful mom (as well as a successful business person) we need to bring something constructive to the table. And, to do that most effectively, we need to listen, apply ourselves, and slow down.

Today, I’m determined to change my hurried ways; to slow down and savor precious moments with my daughter. I will no longer sweat it if we’re late for class. What’s the worse that can happen? I’ll get passed over for that next promotion? I think not, because ─ and here’s the Eureka Moment ─ in the mommy world, I will always have a job. Like other moms, I am the CEO, COO, and CFO of this corporation. Unlike the corporate world, none of us is replaceable. Because, whatever the circumstances, we will always be the moms of our sons and daughters. Isn’t it best that we slow down and enjoy the job while we’re still employed?

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