As a mother of 3 boys, ages 11, 9 and 8 months, I can understand the significant changes women go through when trying to mix professionalism with motherhood. It is the desires and position of each individual woman as to whether or not motherhood will derail her personal career goals. Personally, motherhood has made my career goals even stronger. I want to set an example of hard work and commitment to my boys. I also want to always be in a position to be able to provide for their needs without depending on anyone else. I also have friends however who have given up their career goals in order to spend as much time with their children as possible. I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer. As long as we are not putting our careers over our family (men or women), then career goals are admirable. If an individual feels convicted to give up their career, then that is their calling and what they should do.
It is important for leaders to understand how to properly interact with women in their organization who are presented with motherhood. If leaders are appropriately putting people above profit, then they will seek what is best for the individual in each situation. A good leader will be compassionate and open in communication regarding a female employees desires regarding her position post delivery. If a woman decides to put her career aside to spend time with her new baby, she should be encouraged and commended. She should be included in the process of choosing and training her replacement. When an employee is treated with dignity and respect, she will be loyal in return. However, if she decides to return from maternity leave and continue her career pursuits, she should be treated the same as before. Understanding that she might have a few new obstacles to overcome and coaching her through those things as they arise will give her confidence in her organization. I liked how the article pointed out that others are always watching. How each employee is treated, determines the engagement of other employees in the organization, whether intentional or not.
I am so blessed to be able to continue my career along side my journey in motherhood. I am grateful to have a Director who supported and encouraged me during my pregnancy and maternity leave and also helped me feel valued and appreciated upon my return.
Weinberger, 2011. 10 ways to beat the Mommy track. Obtained from: http://www.diversity-executive.com/articles/view/10-ways-to-beat-the-mommy-track/6