My friend, Ivy, posted this article on Facebook today. If you don't feel like reading it right now, I'll break it down for you: working mothers get the shaft not only from men in the workplace, but also from other women. In some cases, especially from other women.
Now, this isn't news for any mother who's been in the work force. When my son was a baby/toddler, I was a working, young, single mother (basically four counts against me) in the work force. It was a struggle, but I sacrificed a lot of my son's youngest years simply to pay for daycare. Because that's all I could afford, thank the goddess that my parents let me live with them and fed us because otherwise we would have been living on the streets and fishing for dinner in a garbage can. But, I had a job.
When I met my husband and moved in with him, I was suddenly plunged into being a stay at home mom. I didn't have a choice, really. Moving to a different country, I wasn't allowed to work for a long time because my visa didn't cover that. And because of daycare differences, it just made a lot more sense for me to stay at home.
Until he started school and my visa changed. Then I stayed at home because no one would hire me.
He's been at school for 6, going on 7, years now, and still, finding a job is impossible because no one wants the stay at home mom. They know what that gap in experience means, and they know that it also means that if the kids get sick, you're the one that has to stay home. If the kids forget their lunch, you're the one that has to bring it to them. If the teacher calls a meeting, you're the one that has to be there. Employers are completely unwilling to accept that.
Not to mention that you are either way over qualified for the job, your skill set is outdated, or, more likely, the potential employer is grasping at straws for a legally acceptable reason not to hire a mom.
Now, I'm "lucky" in that we do ok on one income. We survive. But it gets old hearing how "lucky" I am that I don't "have" to work. That my husband makes enough to carry me. Well, fuck you.
Last year, in California, I managed to get a retail job. Basically slave labor. I was always quietly surprised when I'd go into work that they hadn't instituted mandatory whippings. Although, I'm convinced that had a customer requested it, the management would have complied without hesitation and with a little too much enjoyment. Here in Texas, however, due to my son's issues, it's a little more difficult. I have to be available from 8:30am and 9am, and from 3:30pm and 4:30pm to drop him off at school and pick up at the end of the day. And although Steve works from home and enjoys more flexibility than most office workers, he cannot commit to being available during those times. That leaves me. And no employer wants to take that on.
I took that as a good reason to really pour my energies into our arts and crafts business, but even that has back fired. Since Steve is the artist and I'm only a crafter and "running" the business, the success of the business is attributed to him, it's failure is my fault. And right now it's not doing well. Mainly because I have no idea what I'm doing, despite my best effort.
On top of that, it seems like I just can't do a damned thing right. It seems like a bunch of my friends are buying houses, and it's all happening "so quickly." One put in an offer on a place, and if it's accepted she'll have 30 days to sell her place. It's been 40+ days since we put in an offer that was accepted (with a long settlement), but I have no idea if the bank is accepting the loan because they have to do an appraisal, but can't tell us when that will be. Or so I've been told. Now I have no idea.
All our fish are sick, and I won't be surprised to find them all dead in the morning. There's no reason for it other than the entire Universe is against me.
I'm tired of fighting right now. I need to recoop, but there's no way to actually do it. If I could, I'd sleep for a week just to get a little head space. No one around me is willing or able to give me the time I need to recover, though, so I'll just keep spiraling downward. Eventually, maybe, I'll hit bottom and be able to start climbing up. Until then? Who knows.