"Fortunately, due to a loop hole in California's State Law we don't have to offer you any maternity leave." These are the words I heard after informing my future employer that I had just discovered I was pregnant. She was very happy and excited to share this news with me. Maybe she was expecting that I too would celebrate along with her this recent discovery.
Before discovering I was pregnant, I went through a rigorous interview process and landed a position in a company that would provide me with the next big step and opportunity in my career. In between the time I accepted the job and placing my notice for my then current position I discovered I was pregnant. I was the perfect fit for the job and it was the perfect fit for me.
Everything seemed to be coming together—a new baby, a new exciting career move—except for this one little obstacle: I would have to return to work immediately after my daughter was born or I would be fired.
I had experienced my initiation into the world of working mom. I hit the working mom glass ceiling even before I had became one. I felt I had to choose between my career and family. I gained a glimpse into my life as a working mom and I didn't like what I saw.
In the end it all worked out great. It was my inspiration to take the leap into my own business and create the life I desired for my family. It is one of the best decisions I have ever made. As we make the transition from working woman to working mom many of us experience hitting the glass ceiling in our career. A ceiling different to that traditionally experienced by women in the corporate world.
One that is even harder to breakthrough. Have you felt this happen in your own career since you became a mom? Here are 5 signs that you may be pushed up against the working mom glass ceiling in your career.
- It's Your Career Or Your Kids
To take the next step up in your career it feels like you will have to sacrifice your family. As we move up the career ladder, especially into the upper management realm, it often requires more time and responsibility in the workplace. This equates to less time with our kids. You've hit the working mom glass ceiling if you feel like you have to choose between your family or career.
- Experience Career Stagnation
You feel stuck in your current position. You see no way up unless you are willing to compromise more of your already limited time with your family. Sideways or even down are the only moves you feel available to you in your work if you are to maintain that work/life balance that is already heavily tilted towards work.
- Need To Outsource Your Life
To take that next step in your career you will have to outsource even more of your life. You feel like you do too much of that already. You might not mind someone else cleaning your house but you have no desire to extend that into all areas of your life such as dinner with your family, helping your kids with their homework, attending their events or putting them to bed. These are important parts of your life you are not willing to outsource.
- Feel Under Valued
You know you have a lot to offer the work place. You are great at what you do and have many gifts and talents to share. However, since you've become a mom and want to get home to have dinner with your kids, or pick them up from school some days, it seems your value in the work place has lessened. You may be overlooked for that promotion or others may complain that you aren't as committed to your job. Even if you are still producing great results it feels like your value is measured by how many hours you spend in the office.
- You Hide That You Are A Mom
Due to the fear of being judged, losing your job or missing out on a promotion you may find yourself trying to hide or minimize your life as a mom. You avoid talking about your kids at work and you'll tell your boss you're sick when actually you are taking the day off to care for your sick child. And you also don't mention you are leaving early to take your child to soccer practice or their school play. Instead you use another reason not related to being a mom.
The transition from working woman to working mom can be a very challenging one. Often we are not prepared for the changes that it brings not only to our personal life but to our careers too. Have you experienced hitting the working mom glass ceiling? If so, stay tuned to Part 2 of this article "4 Steps to Shatter The Working Mom Glass Ceiling."
Karen is a mom, entrepreneur and Founder of The Passion Shift. Download Karen's FREE Training Audio Master The Passion-Shift Mindset: Learn How To Change the Rules So You Can Start Living Your Passion, Revolutionize Your Work Life & Free Your Time & Energy to Have More Fun With Your Family.
More parenting advice on YourTango: