Having the Conversation

Do you remember when I posted this and number 5 was Have the Conversation? Well, I’m happy to report that I took my own advice.

This week has been emotionally draining. Our quarterly business review meeting was all day Wednesday and it left me feeling like months and months of work wasn’t validated, and if anything, all the hard work was diminished and I was left feeling like I wasn’t given the uninterrupted time to report on my projects.

I felt disrespected and frustrated. And honestly, I felt stuck. I was in a room of 12 men and 3 other women. 3 women had reports to give including me, and all 3 of us were treated VERY differently than our male counter parts. We were interrupted numerous times, men would interject with questions regarding next steps without fully listening and waiting for us to suggest them, and many times our thunder, our moment to shine, was stolen as a male coworker interrupted to disclose the success of a project.

The challenging part for me was that the room of men included everyone from our VP down to my peers. It was a mixed audience and it’s hard for me to balance the right level of professionalism, while also sticking up for myself. If it were a room full of my peers, I would have been very comfortable asking them to wait and share their thoughts after I was done, but when it’s the leadership team of the business interrupting and asking questions on numbers, successes, next steps, etc. before I can get there, my frustration soars, and I shut down out of fear of snapping and appearing as an emotional and unprofessional female. It’s a tough balancing act. And it’s a tough situation.

I work in a technology field that is male dominated. I will be up against this my whole career. And because of that, I need to speak up and share with the men on the team how their actions are perceived. Because that’s what it’s about. I do think these men have good intentions, but they don’t see how their interruptions and comments are perceived as disrespectful and stealing the limelight of the women who have worked tirelessly on projects that have taken months or years.

So, I sat down with my direct manager and gave him feedback. I told him the time and attention was unbalanced. It was favored towards the part of the business where there is a male leader. I asked him to help me with getting my appropriate amount of time to report on projects as well. I also told him that after speaking with him for over an hour the day before, my projects still weren’t captured accurately and I would like to discuss my projects. The other person on our team, a man, always reports on his projects, but this opportunity is not extended to me. I also told him that in order to ensure my projects are updated accurately, I will update them and take this off of his plate. I made it a point to illustrate to him that he requests project updates on 3 different documents. Then he takes those 3 documents and restructures them into 3 additional documents for the meeting. This is neither efficient nor are projects being captured accurately. My manager, always being good at taking feedback, was very welcome to me taking that off of his plate and he even recognized that he’s not very efficient with capturing projects and was more than happy to let me lend a hand. I shared a couple of other examples and our conversation ended.

I know my work isn’t done though. I know that I am going to have to hold my manager accountable to see these things through. I know I am going to have to speak up in meetings and fight for my allocated time, and I know I am going to have to work harder to be heard. And although I can go on to say how unfair it is that women have to work harder in this capacity, I’m going to focus on the positive – by speaking up and asking my male colleagues to wait until I am done, I will make their actions and behaviors obvious to them and hopefully enact change. I know it won’t be easy, I know it won’t be quick, but I am a valuable member to the team and they need to sit back listen and give the women on the team their time as well.

So you may be wondering how you start this conversation. Well, here is my advice:

Have a monkey, bring a banana. In other words, if you go to your manager with a problem (a monkey) come with a possible solution or two (a banana). This will naturally steer the conversation away from you bithcing, and towards resolution. It’s a positive way to discuss problems, challenges, conflicts, etc. Not sure what solution you can offer? Tell that to your boss too, and let him/her know you’d like to brainstorm some with their help.

Go into the conversation prepared to give feedback AND receive feedback. No one is perfect. No one. Not even you. Sure your boss may have royally dropped the ball so give him that feedback. But also be willing to receive feedback. When I am really frustrated I get VERY quiet in meetings. Feedback I got from a male colleague was he sees this and wants me to say something. Men are not body language readers, they are direct, so his point was direct conversation resonates with men.  Structuring a conversation around feedback gives a tone of improvement, changes for the better, etc. instead of complaining and griping.

Be next to your boss, not in front of him. What I mean here is ingratiate yourself. I don’t mean kiss his ass, or suck up. Instead, figure out how you can help him too. You’re going to your boss for help, now figure out what you can do for him too. After all, you are both a part of the team. A team that must drive results so if you know you can take something off of your manager’s plate that would help him and you – well that’s a win-win. One key point to note though is don’t take everything off your manager’s plate. Don’t overload yourself. Be careful and go into the meeting with an idea of what you can do to help your boss. I knew the project updates were not efficient at all and it really bothered me that after spending so much time discussing them with my boss, he still screwed them up. So this was an easy place for me to offer some help, and for future meetings it ensures my project updates are accurate.

Be Prepared. If you need to jot down a few notes do so. If you need to collect your thoughts, and take a pause during the conversation do so. Go into the conversation with clear and specific examples. This to me is critical. Men are direct creatures; they don’t pick up on subtlety and clear examples again lets your boss know you have given this some thought, there is “evidence” so to speak to your point, and there are clear tangibles your boss can work on to improve. Being prepared will show your boss that you respect his time, and you really gave the situation some thought. You aren’t flying off of emotions, or being unreasonable. I’d say for women this is especially important for us to do. We can be level headed, professional, and respectful so we need to convey this in everything we do. We are not purely driven off of our hormones and our cycles.

Hold your manager accountable for helping you and applying the feedback you shared. I asked that my manager ensure projects for my team are rolled up through me as I am the lead; he agreed. Now I am going to hold him accountable to do this. If that means I have to recommend edits to the agenda for meetings so I get my allocated time, I’m going to do so. If that means I need to follow up with my manager and address additional examples of the same behavior, I will do so.  This is about being diligent and respectful and showing your boss that you’re serious and need his help to drive change.

Get over it. Women can dwell up one side of the Great Wall of China and down the next. I know because I do. I think about it, over analyze it, and then think about it some more. My best advice is to have the conversation, and let it go. I can guarantee you that your male coworkers have. Let the frustration go, the annoyance, the bitterness – whatever you may be feeling and focus on accountability and driving change with your manager’s help. If all else fails, there’s always wine at the end of the day.


  1. Have you experienced yourself, or other women being overshadowed in group meetings?
  2. How do you go about having a “tough conversation” with your manager?

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To…

Sometimes you just have to cry. Sometimes you just have to let them cry.

When Diapers was an infant he was a crier. And no matter how many times I nursed him, rocked him, burped him, changed him, and held him, he would just cry. I wouldn’t say this is normal, but it was characteristic of my child for his first 4-5 months of life. Perhaps coming almost two months early was a part of it, or perhaps it was just Diapers being Diapers. I quickly learned that sometimes he just needed to cry. For no ryhme or reason he just needed this outlet and as much as I hated it, and wanted to fix it, fighting it always made it worse. So eventually I learned how to embrace it and stay sane in the process.

Tonight I was reminded that sometimes not fighting the crying is better in the long run. Even at 3.5 I think sometimes Diapers just needs to let it out. Being over tired, over stimulated, and just over is hard to navigate at 3. So instead of fighting it, instead of getting frustrated and trying to tell Diapers to calm down, I just let it be. He cried and I rubbed his lavender lotion on his legs and belly and arms and didn’t say a word. The amazing part was my fix-it nature found a place of acceptance and as quickly as the crying started, it was finished.

I asked Diapers if he felt better and in a sleepy voice he said “yeah”.

And that right there makes it all worth it.

After all, it’s his party and he’ll cry if he wants to.

Food. All the food.

My days revolve around food.

I really like food.

Like, a lot.

So it’s no surprise to me when I start training for a race my love of food increases. While training, I really focus on good calories to fuel and nourish my body. I still indulge in my wine and my sweets, but I try to be conscience about my snack choices and my portions.

During this training cycle I haven’t lost any weight. I wasn’t trying to lose weight, and when my legs get nicely defined again, as they do every training cycle, I know the number on the scale isn’t accurate. And like most training cycles after a few weeks in, my body starts to crave healthy and fresh food. Read: Give.Me.All.The.Vegtables.Now. Intuitive eating has always fascinated me, and during training I like to keep to my Paleo-ish meals and intuitively eat. If my body wants all the vegetables, then it will get it. If my body wants milk, then milk I drink (I especially crave milk and carbs/sugar after hard or long runs so cue in my Ovaltine).

That’s all well in good. Where the challenge lies is this: I work 8-9 hours a day and wake up at the butt crack of dawn, so by 4 pm I am le tired and need simple and quick meals. Couple that with a 3.5 year old who loves macaroni and cheese, pizza, and cereal, and FirefighterDad, who will deny this, is a picky eater (love you honey!). And to be fair, he may not be craving salads and eggs, and all the food like I am.

So how do I get around this? 1.) Meal prep on weekends, and cook more elaborate meals on weekends. 2.) Leftovers. Plan for leftovers. Always. 3.) Simple, easy, fresh ingredients.

Here are some meals I have made in the past several weeks. Enjoy!

Carrot Pasta with a Sausage Tomato Sauce

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Pasta kills my stomach so enter carrot pasta. I actually prefer carrot pasta over zoodles (zucchini noodles) and I love this dish! The sweetness of the carrots really compliments the sausage.

Spinach Quinoa with a Fried Egg…or two.

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Sautéed spinach and onion then tossed it into cooked quinoa (I use plain quinoa, rinse it well and cook on stove top). Couple fried eggs and sliced fresh tomato and avocado. This was fantastic!

Meatballs and a Spinach Apple Peach salad

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Homemade meatballs (sautéed onion and spinach mixed in seasoned ground beef) from the freezer that I heated up and a simple salad. During this time I was craving peaches like crazy!

Egg Topped Burger with Sautéed Asparagus

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This was a very quick meal. Prepped hamburger patties and cooked them up, then fried an egg. Side note, I have no idea why I never tried this before! It just seemed so off-putting to me to put an egg on a burger, but oh so so good! Fresh spinach, tomato and avocado completed the ensemble. Asparagus was sauteed in butter with pepper and garlic salt.

Brinner

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Three scrambled eggs topped with fresh tomato and avocado and 2 Earth’s Best “Cookie Monster” Blueberry Waffles (Diapers loves these waffles!) topped with maple syrup and fresh strawberries.

Adult Grilled Cheese

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I had some cooked and shredded chicken in the freezer so I thawed some, tossed it onto a grilled cheese along with some spinach and half a peach. Not all of the peach made it into the picture. This was a simple and quick lunch after a long run!

Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Mango Salsa

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Shrimp tacos always turned me off because who wants to put cheese, sour cream, and salsa on shrimp? Not me. But, I then got the ingenious idea to create my own salsa, and ya’ll this was EPIC. I fired the shrimp (bought pre-cooked and peeled) up with a honey red pepper sauce and the salsa was 2 mangoes, some red onion, red pepper, cilantro, and lime juice. When I bit into my taco it was a flavor explosion in my mouth! Seriously, my taste buds were having a party and dancing like it was 1999. Make these. Now. It won’t disappoint.

So this was a random post about food and how much I like it and I just wanted to share. So here ya go!


  1. What is your favorite food?
  2. What is your favorite food to cook with?
  3. If you run, or work out, what post-workout foods do you like? This is so hard for me, because I’m usually hungry after a run, but NOTHING sounds good, so I could use some inspiration.

Indifferent and Holidays

It’s Monday and that means the countdown to the weekend has officially started. Hahaha, kidding…kinda. What has really started is the countdown to WINE!

I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was enjoyable with equal parts laziness (read: I didn’t do laundry and I crapped out on doing a long run) and equal parts productive (read: I got 2 4 mile runs in this weekend) with decent weather. Speaking of running, there hasn’t been an update in a couple of weeks because, well there’s no easy way to say this except that I have fell of the training bandwagon. I know, I’m disappointed too.

I honestly don’t know what it is. The thought of waking up early and running was just not there. There were a couple mornings last week where it was 45 degrees outside and like any sane person, I chose to stay in bed. Where it’s warm.  And cozy.  Because I started this blog as a small way to document my life here’s a rough, and pathetic look at my training

Monday 10/12 – Didn’t run

Tuesday 10/13 – 6 mile run

Wednesday 10/14 – Scheduled rest day and I took it

Thursday 10/15 – 6 mile run

Friday 10/16 – Didn’t run

Saturday 10/17 – 12 mile long run in 2:05 (10:29 average mile pace)

Sunday 10/18 – Scheduled rest day

Monday 10/19 – Didn’t run

Tuesday 10/20 – Didn’t run

Wednesday 10/21 – Scheduled rest day

Thursday 10/22 – Didn’t run

Friday 10/23 – Didn’t run

Saturday 10/24 – 4 mile run

Sunday 10/26 – 4 mile jogging stroller run

As you can see I embraced last week and I knew no matter how many times I went to bed with my running clothes on (yes, I sleep in my running clothes. 4:30 am is early folks! Don’t judge, you know this is a brilliant idea!) I just wasn’t going to get myself out there so I gave myself a week off.  This weekend was nice. 4 miles goes by quickly but still feels like a really good workout and gets me sweating. I know if I want to see a PR for the half in 3 weeks I need to really focus and get through this home stretch. I have completely stopped following my initial training plan, so my goal until race day is roughly…

Mondays – 4 miles

Tuesdays – 6 miles with 3 @ race pace

Wednesdays – OFF

Thursday – 6 miles tempo

Friday – 6 miles easy

Saturday – 12 x2

The week of the race I’ll probably do 3 easy 6 mile runs during the week and take Thursday and Friday off completely.  I also have chiropractic and massage appointments schedule once per week for the next 3 weeks and I hope this helps with some of the tightness and “eh” felling in my hips, hip flexors, and upper quads.

Usually at this point I am so excited for my race that I can’t see straight.  And for some reason, I’m feeling indifferent. And I don’t know why. I love the half marathon distance, I like the race course and it’s a local small race which is easy logistically, FirefighterDad has the day off so he can actually see me run and cheer me on, which I know he’s thrilled about (read with sarcasm of course), but I’m still felling apathetic. And it kinda sucks, and I don’t why. Am I bored? Am I just over training (Yes! 15 weeks is a lot and in hindsight I didn’t need this much time. At least now I know my body adapts well to running 3 days in a row), am I just ready to have more flexibility with my running? I really don’t know. Anyone have any thoughts?! I’m hoping as I get back into my groove this week with running that my excitement for race day will show up.

Enough about my running. Let’s talk HOLIDAYS! I am SO ready for the holidays.

Holidays = No Work!

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Work has been crazy since April. Which seems eons away. The last 6-8 weeks of the year is always crazy with wrapping up projects, squeezing in the last bit of travel, and completing performance evals. It makes those weeks run together and go at warp speed. So yeah, I’m all for the holidays. So by the time Christmas rolls around, all I have planned is this…

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Well that’s it folks. It’s Monday. Thanksgiving is in 31 days and Christmas is in 60 days. You’re Welcome.


  1. Anyone training for a race and start to feel apathetic about race day or am I the only crazy one?
  2. Are you ready for Thanksgiving?!

I’m Not a Babysitter

This is a mini-series sharing my perspective on men, women, and working roles in today’s society. You can read Part One here.

 

I’m the bread winner in my family. Working in a technology based field has blessed me with a decent salary, and while FirefighterDad has served his country and now works in Public Service, his salary isn’t near mine. This isn’t a badge we wear though. We view our income has our Family’s Income – we both contribute, therefore we both make decisions on how we choose to spend it. So at the end of the day, it’s really a moot point. We earn it together, and we spend it together. What’s interesting about it though, is FirefighterDad and I don’t hold traditional roles by society’s standards.

Another interesting point – I have never been the stay at home parent; again another traditionally women-held role by society.  After Diapers was born, it was advised that he not attend daycare for his first year since he was a preemie, and daycares are germ factories. Therefore, FirefighterDad stayed home for 2 years with Diapers and created an incredible foundation of love, learning, and fun for our little boy. Not to mention, Diapers stayed healthy with only a few tiny bumps in the road along the way.

So this brings me to my point of the second instalment of my mini-series.

Fathers are not babysitters.

Fathers are parents. They are part of a team that is fully capable of taking care of their child(ren). And the wonderful part about this is they want to (speaking for FirefighterDad of course here). There are still many times that my controlling-obsessive-nurturing-mommy-tendencies kick in and I comb over every detail and need Diapers might have to FirefighterDad before I leave for a run, or have a girls’ night out, or head to the grocery store.  And FirefighterDad calmly looks at me (sometimes with that all too familiar shit-eating grin) and says “This isn’t my first rodeo.” Or something to that effect. And he’s right. This is the man that kept our family afloat while I was in the hospital for 28 days trying to stay pregnant. This is the man that stood by my side during labor and weeks of NICU visits. This is the man that knew how to operate a breast pump (shit you not). This is the man that quickly became all too familiar with the intrinsic pull of wanting to be with his wife, but also needing to be with his son as they worked on him minutes after being born. This is a man that held his 5 pound son and became a Dad. This isn’t his first rodeo. He has instincts and powerful emotions of love, protection, and providing. And although his methods might differ from my and his love may look different than mine, he’s no less of a father, and his ways aren’t wrong. His ways are beautiful, powerful, and create an amazing balance. A balance so profound that Diapers is flourishing!

So Dads are Dads not babysitters. This article says it well too. I know Derrick’s choice in words didn’t match his intent, or the point he was trying to get across, but both men and women need to recognize that although men don’t dominate the role of the primary care giver, they are still parents who provide, love, and nurture their children in their own ways.

Again we are seeing a change in cultural norms and the rise of SAHDs is increasing, and this is powerful. This is re-shaping our culture and our attitudes about parenting, and creating a balance between men and women. Whether it’s working and being the sole income provider, or being the stay at home parent, we are all tipping the scales in favor of teamwork, support, and understanding. For all the Dads, keep up the great work because we know you are all very capable of loving your children!

I hope you enjoyed this mini-series! Please share your thoughts below!

Thoughts in My Mind – Tuesday Edition

  1. My office building is like an adult version of high school. It looks like a nice professional office building but inside it’s a sanctum of geek speak, nerd alerts, and proud flying dork flags where employees wear slacks and blouses and carry their laptops in back packs. And in typical high school fashion, there’s the popular lunch table which I finally get to sit at it. #MovingUpInLife.
  2. I’ve had the same black mary jane’s since I was in high school! High school ya’ll! That was a little over 10 years ago! 10 Years divided by $25 shoes = Bargain Shopper!
  3. There’s a cold front that has moved through my area and I like the cold until I don’t like the cold.

Have a great day!

I’m Not a Feminist

This is Part One of a mini-series discussing and sharing my perspective on men, women, and working roles.  

I hear many comments from my female coworkers and friends about how men seem to advance quicker, make more money, get more and/or better raises, seem to be given more responsibility, and how leadership roles are typically held by men. Usually these comments are met with sisterhood solidarity and often times we vent our frustrations and unfairness’s. These comments, some I have said and continue to say frequently, are hinged on a sense of injustice and a knowing awareness that it’s tougher for us women to get a head and to see our careers advance the way we like, while it almost appears effortless to our male counterparts.

And you know what? A lot, if not all of this, is true. Women do have to work harder. I see men get promoted often and easily. Men don’t have to be vocal about their pay or their efforts. It all seems to just fall in their laps.

But there is one thing that needs to be said: I am not a feminist. Sure I partake in these conversations laminating about how a male counterpart has been promoted 3 times in his 3 year career in the company and I have only been promoted once in my 3 year career with the company. But one thing I won’t do is wave my pink flag of Girl Power. I won’t stand up and say that the corporate world is being unfair to women or that men are suppressing women. I won’t protest and I won’t wave that flag.

I’m not a feminist, but I am a huge advocate for equal opportunities and working hard. I’m also a huge fan of breaking cycles. And although this isn’t easy, it’s the way to see lasting change.

At the start of World War II – men were at war and this left our nation’s labor force at a HUGE shortage of workers. Without these factories and businesses, our men couldn’t get the necessary items they needed to fight the war and live. Items like guns, ammunition, blankets, food, shoes, clothes, etc. were all needed. Yet, these manufacturers didn’t have any warm bodies. Not to mention tons of new jobs were created because of the war, but no one to fill them. Enter women – this allowed women the opportunity to fill this working gap. Many women entered the work force as a sense of duty, patriotism, and as a sense of giving back to our men fighting. It also gave women a taste of freedom and community while they earned wages. Women entering the work force paved the way for proving that women, just as easily as men, could be trained to do the same work. During this time, the number of working women rose from 14.6 million in 1941 to 19.4 million in 1944.

Now jumping ahead to the 1960s, there was a strong women’s movement that worked to break down work inequality, lower wages, and denial of access of better jobs. Here’s an interesting link from CNN with some things that women were not allowed to do in the 1960s. Needless to say there was a lot for the women of this feminist movement to fight for! And I’m glad these women were around and spoke up and fought back.

In 1970 there were 30.3 million women in the workforce compared to 72.7 million women between 2006-2010. And from data collected by the Census Bureau this is where it gets interesting; from 1970 to today, very little has changed in terms of our nation’s corporate culture. The above hyperlink goes into lots of good details but I summarize to say that back in 1970 women were majority employed in roles such as administrative assistants, elementary school teachers, and nurses. Today, women still out rank men in these roles. And men back in 1970 had roles in management, as lawyers, doctors, and as police officers. Women have made great gains in some career fields the most notable being accounting. However, cultural norms have facilitated men and women working in the same career fields for going on 40 years now. Is this bad? Not necessarily, but one thing I think worth noting is that we must keep in mind what our nation’s corporate culture is, and that is, as a nation we expect more women to be teachers, nurses, administrative assistants, and more men to be lawyers, judges, and managers.

The article goes on to say that in the 1990s more women were working or entering the work force because our nation’s economy was experiencing a boom and wages were better. However in 2008 when a news-worthy decline in our economy hit, women in the workforce declined. Speculations were that since women were earning less than men, it made since for typical middle class families to have the women stop working. It also became less favorable for women to enter the working force because salaries were lower. However, if more women were in the roles of teachers, assistants, etc., then it seems to make sense that women were making less money – women didn’t populate the higher wage earning professions like men did.

And here in lies the issue – our nation’s expectations on working roles has been founded for 50 plus years in our country’s corporate culture. I’m not saying this is right or wrong. I’m not saying this is ideal or even balanced and fair. I’m not saying that women should or should not maintain jobs as teachers, secretaries, or personal assistants (do what you LOVE!). I’m saying it is what it is.

But as women, we don’t need to wave our pink flag or even our white flag. Instead we have a perfect opportunity to empower our colleagues, men and women alike, and educate and demonstrate, that women are capable of SO much more. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are already tipping the scales.

As the Millennials have entered the working world, we see this culture being tested. We see scales tipping more to a balance; more women are going to college, more women are entering into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers, more women have graduate degrees, and more women are in management. Heck we even have women CEOs.

So I’ll say it again, I’m not a feminist. I don’t have it out for men. I don’t think men alone have created our corporate culture, and I think for the vast majority of male leaders and managers their intentions are good. I do think men have grown with the times some and see that women are strong and capable and can add a lot of value to a company. I am a woman who is all about embracing our opportunities, working hard, and continuing to tip the scales to break the cycle of predominately men held roles and adjusting our corporate culture. Ladies, continue tipping those scales with me and be proud of your successes!

I hope you enjoyed Part One of this mini-series. Stay tuned for Part Two coming soon!


  1. Do you have a job in a predominately male dominated field? If so, what perceptions or expectations have you had to tip?
  2. Do you work in a role that is not considered “typical” by today’s society?

Working Mom Discrimination

I started this blog so that tough topics can be discussed and maybe, just maybe, I’d be able to help out other young women and share some insight, advice, wisdom, or just some hard honest truth. And to be honest, this terrifies me a little because in order to do so, I feel like I need to be honest. Well, more honest. I need to let you into a part of my life that still stings a bit. So I’ve been beating around the old blog bush (don’t giggle, this isn’t a dirty reference) and I’ve been sticking to safe topics like my running, some parenting stuff, a menu post, and general updates. But that’s going to change now.

I was discriminated against by my place of employment after I became a mother.

I read this fantastic article by ProudWorkingMom.com (fantastic blog by the way! I highly recommend!) and it sparked by own sense of injustice because I am all too familiar with it. I lived through it. And ya’ll it sucked.

Here’s what happened in a nutshell:

I got pregnant, spent 28 days on hospital bed rest trying to stay pregnant, delivered Diapers at 33 weeks 5 days then he spent 12 days in the NICU. Diapers came home for 9 days and he was readmitted to the NICU for 4 days. During my hospital bed rest I filed all necessary paper work for short term disability, stayed in close contact with my manager, my manager’s manager, and HR. I dotted I’s and crossed t’s then pushed out a baby. When Diapers came home for good, I was up front and honest and told my manager I was going to take 8 weeks of maternity leave. This meant in total I took 12 weeks. I used vacation time, and sick time/pay. Then I was on short term disability. The week before July 4th, I returned to work. This was after a one day training I had to attend in mid-June. About 3 months into returning to work I had a mysterious meeting on my calendar – it simply listed the attendees: me, my manager, and HR. I was puzzled, but honestly I knew what was coming. The company I worked for was quite frankly terrible. It had a terrible culture, didn’t embrace boldness or creativity, and my manager was ineffective at best. I know this all sounds very harsh and maybe it is, but the bottom line is, I did my job, did it well, met all of my manager’s requests, and was a team player. I tried to go above and beyond and was shot down numerous times, so I stopped. I did my job and then went home.

Proceeding my hospital stay, I had 2 weeks of light work where I was in the office 3x a week and worked from home 2x a week. During this time, my workload at the office increased astronomically. I was on my feet for 7.5 hours a day only stopping to eat lunch and squeeze in pee breaks all while trying to manage contractions. When the HR meeting rolled around I had 3 letters ready to go, depending upon how this meeting went. Going into the meeting there was 0, zero, zilch, nada, communication from my manager. She never explained to me what it was about or why it was happening. Nothing, and this behavior was very typically for her. She was also the manager that routinely would tell her direct reports how she hates her job and doesn’t want the responsibility anymore. Classy.

The meeting came and basically I was getting written up for poor work performance. I can’t really say I was surprised, I knew as soon as I got pregnant and told my manger’s manager (I didn’t even trust my manager to tell her!! I knew there would be retribution! Red flag #1) that something like this was going to happen. I sat, I listened, and I kept my mouth shut. When HR asked me to sign the document, which would be placed in my personnel file, I declined. I said I disagreed, I emailed my manger all results I got on a daily basis, and basically I said my peace. I also said something along the lines of my manager wants me to be written up, yet she came empty-handed. No emails, no documentation of any kind to corroborate what she was telling HR. At this point I knew what my decision was going to be so I turned to our HR lady and I told her that she should be ashamed of herself for allowing an employee to get written up without the manager providing documentation. At was in a checkmate of she said versus she said. I then handed in letter #3 – an “I quit effective immediately” letter. And I walked out with my head high. I floored them. Neither one of them expected it, my manger smirked (Yep, she smirked. Whether it was relief, of vindication, or just her being her I’ll never know), and the HR lady tried to convince me otherwise saying it wasn’t necessary. But it was necessary because I knew I wasn’t going to work for a company or a manger like that. I went to the Mother’s Room to pack up my pump and then my desk to back up my belongings and that’s when my manger’s manger stopped by. He just got word that I quit on the spot. He said he was sorry (really?! this surprised me). I told him not to be sorry; this was a decision 2 years in the making (I had been working there for about 2.5 years) and I explained to him that I choose not to work for a company that doesn’t value their employees or a manger such as the one I had. With that, I handed him my employee card and drove home.

Immediately after I turned in my letter, while packing up my stuff in the Mother’s Room, I called my husband and told him what happened and what decision I made. He supported me 100% (he’s the best). Then I vented, the anger was seething and I needed to let it out. Then somewhere along the way my anger turned to tears. I felt the injustice of the whole situation. The injustice of (almost) getting written up, the injustice of feeling like I had no other way out except to quit, and underneath all the anger and the injustice I was feeling, my mommy’s heart was aching because there was an injustice to me as a mom and to my son. I did everything in my power to bring as healthy a baby into the world as I could. Granted it wasn’t ideal, but he was never a poker chip in a game. He was never something I would gamble on. And then to be determined that I was under performing was a sharp dagger to my very soul. It hurt ya’ll. And it hurt a lot. To this day I made the best decision – I quit on my terms and I have never ever regretted that. But to be a victim of work place discrimination because I am mother, well it hurts and it seems downright unfair.

And the work my manager claimed I never did?

I did it and emailed her the results the same day.

I don’t have any words of wisdom here honestly. I know I said I wanted to help and give insight, etc., etc., but I couldn’t fight this situation, because I had no proof to do so. And after reading the ProudWorkingMom blog post, it appears that most women faced with this are all in the same boat.

I suppose what I can offer are a few things:

  1. Stand up for you and your work. No one will ever sing your praises like you can. I’m not about bragging, but I am all about representing your work fairly and that means being proud of your accomplishments and sharing what you have achieved with your boss.
  2. If you find yourself in a work environment where you are under appreciated, consider other options. I know this may not be feasible for everyone, but please give it some thought. If you need to prepare then start preparing. You deserve a company that values you, your work, and your contributions. Never forget this.
  3. If you are a victim of workplace discrimination and you can prove it, then I urge you to fight it. I have never been in this position, but I know I would fight it. I would fight it for me, other women, other mothers, my nieces, and other young girls who our shaping our future.
  4. Listen to your moral compass. I knew what was happening to me was wrong – I could feel it in my gut. Knowing a company was okay with this practice, didn’t mesh up with my values, and this is a non-negotiable for me.
  5. Family first. I was amazed how quickly and drastically my priorities changed when Diapers was born. All of a sudden my career didn’t seem so important. I’m not saying it wasn’t, it was just clear that Diapers was Priority #1 and my career had a higher number for the first time in my life. With this came an untapped reserve of balls. I quit my job for him, I applied to other jobs for him, and ultimately I moved across the country for him. Doing something for Diapers didn’t seem so daunting or terrifying – it just seemed right. Natural.

Have you ever left a job because it didn’t adhere to your moral compass?

What’s the best job you’ve ever had?

It’s October!!

Ya’ll I am so excited that it is October. Although I despise the cold, I do love Fall. The cool, crisp, humidity free air, mosquito free evenings, bonfires, Fall running, tea, hot chocolate, pumpkin, apple cider, soup, sweaters, scarves, fire place, Halloween candy…honestly my list is endless but can I get an Amen?! Basically, Fall has a lot to offer.

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Onto other news….since I have been absent from here for a while I thought an update was in order. Without further ado…

Hurricane Joaquin

I live along the east coast and happy to report that we are fine. Unfortunately that cannot be said for many other cities along the eastern seaboard. Joaquin did a number in the Bahamas and certainly effected the US coast. My thoughts and prayers are with families right now who may have lost a loved one, a home, or having to navigate the rocky path of rebuilding lives.

Firefighter Wife

Because of Joaquin, FirefighterDad was called into work to help with rescue efforts and the 100s of 911 calls that were received. This was the first time FirefighterDad was called into work earlier than his regularly scheduled shift days, and he worked through the whole weekend. I am incredibly proud of him and all of the rescue and military personnel that took great measures to reach people. FirefighterDad is home now, safe and dry.

Running

Last week my running looked something like this

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I was feeling particularly weak and tired and needless to say my paces showed it too, which was of course, mental sabotage of the worst kind. After a very rough easy 4 miles (which was suppose to be 6) I decided I would take 3 days off and give my body a break. It was giving me signs and I didn’t want to suffer the consequences of over training and I even made the decision not to do my 12 mile long run. Due to Joaquin’s relentless vengeance, taking Friday-Sunday off worked out beautifully. I will say that those 3 days with absolutely no running, felt like weeks, but I am happy to report that yesterday’s easy 4 miles was awesome and my run today was even better – dare I say FANTASTIC!

Here’s what the past couple of weeks of running has looked like:

Week #8

Monday: 4 easy miles. Yup, Fall is officially gone. It was 76 degrees when I went to run. Outside of the warmer temps, this run was pretty uneventful although my easy pace is faster now, which is exciting to see – training is paying off!

Tuesday: 4 x 1 mile @ 9:00. Yeah so this didn’t happen. From the very first step of my warm-up I knew my body didn’t have the energy. Having suffered from over training before, I knew I wasn’t even going to attempt 4 repeats. I cut it short and did 2 mile repeats hitting 8:40, and 9:02 after a 1.5 mile warm up. I walked for a cool down and was done.

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: 6 easy miles. I ran 6 miles at a 10:30/mile average, which means my easy pace is faster – which means – I’m getting stronger and faster overall! I love seeing improvement. =) It rained very lightly while I was running and it was SO nice!

Friday: OFF

Saturday: 5k race in 28:52 setting a new PR and placing 2nd in my AG!

Sunday: Long run. I wasn’t too sore from my race – just a sore/tight left hamstring, but my legs were tired. I knew going into this run I wanted to get to a comfortable pace and just maintain it. I wanted this long run to simulate running on tired legs and it served its purpose! I did 9.35 miles @ a 10:42 average mile pace.

Week #9

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday: 10 x 800. 1 mile warm up, 2 x 800, 1 mile cool down – body physically tired and lacking energy. It was a struggle to complete just 2 repeats. I called it quits.

Thursday: 6 miles easy. Ended up being 4 very slow and miserable miles because I felt so tired and weak – not good.

Friday: OFF

Saturday: OFF

Sunday: OFF

Here’s hoping that this week’s running continues being enjoyable! One thing I do know, is that running in 60 degrees is AHMAZING!

That’s all I have for this update folks.


How was your weekend? Were you impacted by Hurricane Joaquin?