More Annoyed than Amused

Staying Home

Posted by parsingtime on May 6, 2013

I went to this 50 Years of Women at the Business School a couple of days ago for a panel discussion about women in the work place.  The panelists were Famous (one of the first female grads of the b-school), MD of very large investment bank, Endowment (who runs an endowment of a very large prestigious university) and Entrepreneur.

They all had a lot of interesting things to say. Talking about how they got where they are, how the balance family life, how they have been treated by the male population and how that has changed in the years since they all graduated (almost 50 years ago, 1980, and 2000).

I wish I could write about some of the stuff they said, but it was strongly discouraged. So I will just stick with the issue most relevant to me. Two of them had young children. They outsource childcare to two nannies. MD said, “I’m an MD at Blankey Blank I can’t just walk out of a meeting for a sick child call from my school, which is why I have a nanny. She is a 50 year old retiree with a four year degree.” The nanny manages her day-to-day life from car maintenance, to cooking, to kids. MD also has a husband you would have all heard about and so she doesn’t have a lot of help there due to his job. She also said women have their kids to young and should wait until they have established careers.

I understand that not everyone is cut out for or can afford stay-at-home parenthood. So her comments didn’t make me feel one way or the other about her.  She made a choice and it works for her. But at the end of the panel another B-school grad stood up to ask a random question and when they asked her what she did right now she said, “nothing. I stay at home with my kids.”

I felt sorry for her. She was definitely tipsy and this panel made her feel what she does day-to-day is nothing.  As husband and I were talking over dinner after the panel I told him I don’t feel that way and she sort of hammered that home to me. I am busy, productive and I enjoy being with my kid.  It isn’t nothing. Sure sometimes I wish I was have a bigger impact in the working world and there are days when being a SAHM gets on my last nerve but overall I’m happy to report that I like my life.

I’m hope one day tipsy lady realizes that panels like the one we saw are empowering and impressive and don’t have to make you feel like a failure or like you do nothing. There is value in being with your kids.


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