Non-moms often get a bad rap. They complain about being tired or sick, even though when they are, they don’t normally have a three and five year old begging for food, water, attention or just complaining in general. They are able to rise to any career challenge, and often go far in their careers in general because of their lack of hurdles, and we as moms usually hate them for it because we can’t do the same without a lot more stress than others.
So I am here to try and change that, however briefly, for the non-moms out there. I want to share something that happened to me recently, which totally changed my outlook on non-moms. I thought they didn’t “get it”. I thought I was just assumed to do whatever I had to do without any recognition. The other day, I was in a meeting with my boss and her boss. We were discussing basic finances and outlooks for a new project I was starting, as I had never taken on this responsibility as of yet. I was a little hesitant about hiring an assistant for my position, as I worried about our budget for the project. My boss’ boss left, which allowed me to explain myself to my boss. She startled me, but in a good way. “You are just like me. You want to do all of these outside positions and challenges, and you try to do it without any help.” She began to list the multitude of things I put on my plate so far this year. It added up to a lot, which made me pause in and of itself. “And now, with this new position, you are going to add more stress. I do this to myself all the time, but I don’t have two additional things that you do. I’m not a wife or a mother, which means you have to balance that personal time.” I sat back. Wow. To give you some background, my boss is a divorced woman, who although she takes care of her elderly parents, she often only has to worry about her own well being. People I work with don’t agree with her most times, but she is a great communicator and definitely follows-through on things she say she will, which is different from previous bosses we’ve had. So you can imagine my surprise as she said this to me. I know she realized everything I do and did to get where I am, because she always suggests me for promotions, positions, additional team leader projects. People know my name, and in a good way. But to hear her say something I felt like was so uncharacteristic of a non-mom, it took me a minute to compose myself. I was touched, and I tried to simply say “thank you” with a smile instead of tearing up as I really wanted to do.
You can hear from other moms, siblings, husbands, just how much you do for your family and yourself. They know how hard you work. They see it daily, and recognize it. But to hear someone who isn’t normally dealing with it, or worried about the same things you are support you in that way, is amazing. It changed my outlook on her as a boss, and a non-mom. I feel supported by someone other than who I am used to, and it makes the little daily challenges of being a mom, a career woman, and project leader less daunting.