A colleague and fellow working mom recently described how she spends her commute time on the train playing a little game she invented called, “Spot the Working Mom.” It goes something like this...
Pretty, young non-mom on subway: cute linen pencil skirt, airy summer plaid sleeveless top, matching handbag, fresh salon highlights, and trendy sunglasses.
My friend and mom-of-two: Pilled, 5-year-old skirt paired with bug-bitten legs, shower-wet hair, bargain store handbag filled with extra (noisy) plastic shopping bags, and sunglasses with the coating peeling off.
Another colleague and mom-of-one chimes in: Add unshaven legs, chipped tooth from baby head butt, glasses smudged with tiny handprints, and major bags under the eyes. Fun game.
And yet, according to a quotation in the May 23 edition of Time magazine from “The Dingbat”—I mean “The Donald”—we working moms just aren’t quite giving enough these days.
When asked about hiring working moms, Trump had this to say: “She’s not giving me 100 percent. She’s giving me 84 percent, and 16 percent is going towards taking care of children.”
Oh Donald, if you only knew how it really adds up.
You’re wrong, of course, on the 16 percent. My children get 100 percent. But so does my job. It’s called extreme multi-tasking. And working moms have to be really, really good at it.
I brainstorm for work projects and plan meeting agendas while I run around the neighborhood at 5 am. I remember that I need to pay for daycare and call the pharmacy while I shower for work.
I change and clothe and feed my children while packing my lunch and writing a grocery list for my husband and texting him (gentle!) reminders to fix that loose deck railing and pick up the antibiotic for the ear infection. I sing and play peek-a-boo to entertain my children while applying makeup and getting dressed for the office.
I catch up on work reading while commuting. I answer work emails at the breakfast table and in the pediatrician’s office. I text my daycare provider during those few 'down' minutes before the start of a meeting. I do laundry while planning my career path and use my lunch break to stock up on suntan lotion and bug spray for daycare, and aspirin and extra nylons for my desk.
The reason my husband can pull open a random dresser drawer on any given day and find it fully stocked with clean, season-appropriate outfits that fit despite the fact that our little ones are growing like weeds, is because I swap clothes with other office moms to save time and money. I can discuss marketing strategy and get tips on the best approach to potty training in the same conversation.
So, Mr. Boss Man Trump, any chance you’re wondering who gets shortchanged in all of this if it ain’t you or those pesky-kids-who-are-the-future-of-America I waste my time raising?
I’ll give you a hint.
There’s a reason that “Spot the Working Mom” is such an easy game to play. You see, after everyone has taken their 100 percent, there’s not much time left for highlights and handbags. But I’m sure those superficial things don’t matter to you anyway when hiring a woman.
More from parenting