The “L” Word

2 years ago, when my grandmother passed away, I remember the plane landing and ushering myself and my son off looking forward to getting home and finally taking a breathe. As I was driving through our neighborhood, hard reality slapped me in my face – life goes on. Regardless of what events have occurred, regardless of your mental or emotional state, cars were driving past me as I entered our neighborhood, blissfully ignorant of my life, and their life continued on – moving forward without a second thought. In that moment I so desperately wanted to push Life’s Pause Button. I wanted the world around me to slow the F down and I wanted life to pause just for a second. I needed to breathe, to process, to grieve. And when life is zooming past you at what seems like the speed of sound, it’s overwhelming. It’s sad. It’s disconcerting. So in the peace of my home I figured out how to take a breath and grieve, while also getting back in the game of life. It was survival – I had to do it even if I didn’t want to. Because life can be brutal. It can be beautiful and joyous, but sometimes it can be a butthead. I share this with you because once again I wish I could press Life’s Pause Button.

I’ve been wanting to write this post and be authenticate and honest with ya’ll.  After all,  my poop stinks too, I have marital challenges at times, I have child-rearing challenges at times, and I fall apart like a crazy person sometimes. Because I am not perfect regardless of what this blog may say otherwise. So today I am sharing with you some raw honesty. And although its not on par with losing a loved one, its been a life-rocker none the less.

The “L” Word

At the beginning of this month I got a call and was told by the VP of my business that due to cost saving measures my position was being eliminated.

Ya’ll I was laid off.

And at first I was like this….

Then I was like this because I was home sick. Can anyone say bad timing?

And then I was like this….

But then I remembered there is this sweet precious boy…


So I did this.


And then I took my planned trip to Florida and took a week off. Because when your world comes crashing down, you run to your parents like any other almost-thirty-year-old with a mortgage. Just kidding. Kinda.


They say losing a job is like losing a loved one. At least the steps of grief are. First you’re in denial, then angry, then you barter, then you’re bitter, then you finally accept. Or something like that. I think right now I am at the YOLO stage. Can we add that in there? I have come to a healthy place where I am not so stressed and looking forward to some time. Just some gosh darn time.  And in case you are curious as how I did it, or you find yourself in a similar position, here’s what I did.

  1. Take some time. I Googled “just got laid off” and every search came back with some form or another of “take some time off”. And although I am a planner and an action person, I could see the benefit with this. Even with being almost 5 months pregnant. I needed to get my bearings. And process what just happened. In my case I got a severance package and my official termination date was a week later so I had a little breathing room. Don’t make any drastic decisions within those first couple of days when you are reeling from what you have just been told. Instead cry, eat ice cream, and wallow. Wallowing is healthy, promise.
  2. Know your People. This is one thing that really surprised me. When I went to pack up my office, I had people reaching out and rallying with me. I had my people. Hug them. Cry with them. Confide in them. Through this whole process I have recognized who my true friends are – the people who are willingly inconveniencing themselves to help me. Those people who want to help me. Take their help and lean on their support. Connect with them and keep in touch with them. Two of my friends either connected me to a job or recommended me for a job. You never know who knows who. And then, feel all the love. I know I do.
  3. Severance Package, Outplacement resources, HR, oh my. If you got a severance package you are going to have to be proactive to figure it out. My (previous) company’s HR was no help in that regard. They basically handed me a packet and told me to call the numbers provided. Not very helpful. Get a direct HR contact at the company in case you need to follow up or have questions later. And be prepared to make lots of phone calls and figure this out.
  4. Financial Assessment. Like anyone, I was worried about our finances. Going from x amount a month to $0 a month is shocking. and stressful. And you will feel all the feels. But in my opinion this is the time to get serious about your budget and spending and figure out what things can go immediately and what other things you will need to work on to cut costs. This doesn’t need to be really detailed yet, but you should have a general idea of what you can cut. For example, for us it was cutting Diapers pre-school attendance from full time to 3 days a week. This is a savings of $40 per week which is $160 a month. It may not seem like a lot now, but that could be gas, groceries for a week or two, or even pay off a credit card. Also, groceries is another area where I am back to couponing, swagbucking, and using all of my rebate apps. I could write a whole post on just this, so if you want some more details on this let me know and I’d be happy to share my method and experience.
  5. Resume. Now is the time to network and get a kick-ass resume put together. Hopefully after 1-4 you have had some time to do some soul searching and figure out what you want to do. Maybe a career change makes sense. Maybe you want to follow your passion. Maybe you want to stay home with your kiddos. Whatever is resonating with you, figure out how to pull out key competencies and results from previous roles to highlight what you can bring to another company. For me, I am looking for an industry change. And nautrally this means limited experience, but only limited industry experience. I still have great work experience and have high impact business results that I can speak to.
  6. Network. I finally broke down and have a LinkedIn profile. And I am networking. It really is powerful and any and all resources you get makes it even more powerful. Consider local job fairs, friends, college alumi, recruiters, head hunters, etc. Step outside your comfort zone a little and find some routine to mange these and get into a routine where you are putting yourself and your talents out there. I have found LinkedIn to be very good and I am also using to check out companies, jobs, salaries, benefits and other info.
  7. Unemployment. Chances are if you’ve been laid off, you will qualify for state unemployment. Since this is a program our taxes help support, you have been paying into this program, so now is your chance to take full advantage of it. It won’t be a lot, as most states have a weekly cap regardless of your previous income level, but its still something. My state requires job searches and attending an orientation. It is annoying for me to manage all of this, but I also recognize its a small sacrifice of  my time to get some income into my household immediately. And its of course another way to network by attending the events your state hosts for job searches. In line with this, also consider other government programs such as WIC, SNAP (food stamps), Child care assistance, etc. Again, we contribute to these with our taxes so don’t be ashamed to reach out and see if you qualify.
  8. Job Searches and Applying. I was given the advice of spending a good 25 hours per week searching and applying jobs. Anymore than that and you will get burned out and frustrated. This can be 3, 8 hour days or 5, 5 hour days. Structure it with what works for you but be prepared to invest some time and energy. Job titles are not a one size fits all and in my experience, I always have to tweak a resume some before applying.
  9. Get Creative. This applies to everything from your new found time, to your finances, to your resume and job searching. Be unconventional. Think outside the box. Put some spice and personality into your resume to set you apart. Think of unique childcare options, or creative ways to significantly lower your budget whether its with student loans, car payments, or credit card payments. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here. Now is the time to figure out what is going to work best for you. And nothing says you can’t do something (unless its illegal of course) so step outside your comfort zone and have fun with this part! A great example I can share is with our finances. I have a lot of student loans. Our monthly student loan payment is on the order of an apartment rent amount. Its a lot, and its choking our budget. So we tossed around ideas like using my severance to pay off the higher interest ones, restructuring our payments, and looking into other income based repayment options, but none of them were ideal because interest is still accrued. Our best option is to pay them off. And we found a way to do that which results in us freeing up about $600 a month in our budget. And that is significant. For personal reasons/security,  I haven’t shared the details, but if you are curious or want to know some more specifics just shoot me an email and I’ll be happy to share!
  10. Quality and Quantity Time. As a (previously) working mom, my time with Diapers was limited to an hour or so in the morning, a few hours in the evening, and the weekends. Although the days are short, the months seem long so I am taking this opportunity to invest more into my son. We are going to the library, feeding the ducks our old stale bread. Watching movies. Cuddling. Building forts, playing with side walk chalk and even redoing my flower bed (read: weeding, raking, pruning, and replanting). I’m also doing some DIY projects for Baby Boy’s room (maybe good fodder for a blog post!). I am occupying my time and mind with activities that are filling me up to lighten the stress and burden of constant job searching. Its important to take care of yourself. So don’t forget your hobbies! Invest in yourself too – I remind myself of this daily.
  11. Remember Life Goes On. At the beginning of this rather lengthy post, I said I wanted to push the Pause Button. And some days I still do. But life goes on. Dishes need to get done, kids need to be fed, laundry needs to be done, and for me the key is a new routine. I’m still not in one yet, but what I am doing is NOT hermitting myself in the house. I am an introvert and I would be perfectly content staying home applying to job after job. But I have friends calling, texting, making plans. I have good people ya’ll. I am loved. My phone is constantly blowing up – and I really like that. I have friends who want to keep in touch and its been a kind reminder to me that life does in fact, still go on and move ahead. So this past weekend Diapers went to a birthday party (ask how I did this on a budget!), last Wednesday I went out to lunch with a friend. Then on Friday another friend came over and spent her lunch hour at my house catching up. And on Sunday another friend stopped by to catch up and help with my DIY projects. Life goes on, and I have found that if I step outside my introverted tendencies, I am enjoying this time. I am still working on a good routine and a mangeable balance, but it feels good to live and not be stuck on pause.

This post is long enough so I will end this here. If you’ve managed to make it this far then thanks and go eat a cookie because you totally deserve it. Actually eat 5.

  1. Have you ever been laid off from a job?
  2. Do you wish there was a Life Pause Button like me?
  3. How was your weekend?
  4. Any good DIY-ers out there?






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?

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!

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 (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?