Yesterday after work I dropped off some items for a charity fundraiser for my kids' school to a mom whose daughter is in Ned and Penny's pre-K class.
We chitchatted a few minutes and since I was dropping off items that are branded the company I work at I mentioned that I was in-house counsel at said company. "Oh!" she said enthusiastically, "I used to be a lawyer too!"
She asked me what I did for childcare. I made a joke about being able to have a cup of coffee uninterrupted at work. She mentioned not being able to have an important phone call while schlepping the kids in her minivan.
After a few more minutes of parenting jokes/comments I clicked away in my heels to my car and drove off to get home in time for bedtime antics.
I wondered what that woman thought about me that night. Did she think about her life choices? Did I feel a little too smug about my work challenges I spent the day on instead of mediating constant sibling fighting?
People who are friends with me on Facebook know I am a huge proponent of women in the workforce and how to fit in it on existing terms (less about how to "change" the system). I think a lot about disadvantages/advantages of being a working parent vs. a stay at home parent. I make my choice to work evaluating all those ups and downs because I think deep down I recognize that if I *had* to (or wanted to) I could stay home (does my husband think that about himself too?). Some women don't have that choice so when I "suit up" for work I often feel like I have to be sure every day that the positives outweigh the negatives. Really being focused on my job and career is a choice I make, a check in the "Yes" I work box every day.
What choice are you making? Or do you feel like you have no choice? If you want my full view on working parent see this blog post - it is one I often reread to see if I still believe it. I do.