You marry your own glass ceiling

posted 2 months ago in Relationships
Post # 91
Member
9183 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Arghh that one kills me as well. Fathers get praised for looking after their kids. Like they are making a monumental sacrifice to look after them for a couple of hours whilst mum goes out of the house. And don’t get me started on calling father’s looking after kids babysitting. 

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@littlebuzz:  

Post # 92
Member
845 posts
Busy bee

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@littlebuzz:  Oh boy. Yeah, my husband took all the paternity leave he was entitled to. And while society sees men who take paternity leave as heroes, many people in the workforce see it as a weakness. Many men I know are legally entitled to paternity leave but don’t take it because they’re worried it could impact their chances of advancing. 

An incident that really had me livid: While I was on an international trip, leaving my 7 month old and 4 year old with their dad, I remarked to my CMO that my husband and I carefully scheduled and limited our travel with a young baby. His unthinking, flippant remark to me: ‘Oh, my wife is amazing! She didn’t get in the way of my travel at all.’

And for perspective, I’m in a Silicon Valley company, very enlightened and politically correct on paper. I definitely have it good compared to most others in other parts of the country. Still, this is what we are up against. 

Post # 93
Member
8374 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I’ve been absent from this thread (but following!) as I’m cfbc and honestly pretty lazy, so neither the high powered career woman life nor the loving mom life really fit haha. 
buuuuttt since were talking about pat leave now, I have a small rant about someone I considered a friend… as a pp said we have pretty good mat/pat leave in Canada. My friends had a baby last November. Mom is the breadwinner but was still going to take her 12m. Then pandemic hit, and dads hours/pay basically disappeared. They decided mom would go back to work in July. They struggled with childcare (mainly parents) for a while but have now decided dad will take pat leave for the rest of the 12m. So you know what he’s been doing on pat leave, while mom WFH? He’s going golfing. He’s planning to clean out his parents house. He’s asking my husband for help with other chores. All the while MOM IS STILL looking after the baby, even as she’s trying to get back into her job and actually y’know, paying for their mortgage and shit?! I called him out on it and he just brushed it off like ‘she doesn’t mind’. And I know that isn’t the truth. 
So it’s no wonder men don’t think women need proper mat leave, they think it’s just free time to go golfing and clean the house??????  Anyways I was livid.

Post # 94
Member
1471 posts
Bumble bee

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@techmom:  oh my gosh, that comment would have me livid for years to come! Totally agree that male-heavy industries make it super difficult for fathers to take what they are  entitled to. My husband works in government (UK) so the they pretty much have to create an environment where they are encouraged to take advantage of parental leave. I can’t imagine how it must be in big city boysy finance jobs (I’m having flashes of Wolf of Wall Street, lol). 

Post # 95
Member
1662 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

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@techmom:  I work in higher ed, which is supposed to be THE MOST progressive. And, to give it some credit, it is…sometimes. My Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law were both phds, but my Father-In-Law was a traditional professor whereas my Mother-In-Law used hers for a different area, meaning she worked all year while he had summers “off”. He schlepped kids all over during that time…not too shabby for the eighties! They definitely had some gender role stuff going on (she didn’t really thrive in her career until the kids were a little older), but it was pretty good for the time. 

But, even now, it has SO FAR to go. My boss’s boss is a man, and his wife has the much higher-paying (also higher-ed) job (which is saying something, since his role is pretty high up too). They have small children, and he is the one who does more of the pick up/drop off, stays home when they’re sick, etc. And oh boy…the comments. Yeesh. Compare that to the female higher ups on our team, and nobody blinks when they take time off or work from home. It’s such a double edged sword…this attitude keeps men from being fully involved, and keeps women from reaching those higher levels (3 of the last 4 “boss’s boss” individuals have been male, despite the fact that our field is VERY female heavy). 

Post # 96
Member
617 posts
Busy bee

This has been such an interesting thread to read. It’s such a nice break from all the Trump/covid talk that has been dominating every conversation in my world recently. I’m currently on an active break from fb and reddit specifically to avoid that stuff for a while. 

My two cents is that upbringing has a lot to do with how hetero couples establish their roles when it comes to work and parenting. I agree with pp’s that socital norms and the systemic repression of women throughout the last few centuries certainly have a lot to do with the “glass ceiling” narrative. I agree with the article that a spouse can really impact a woman’s ability to break through a glass ceiling in her career but I feel like that is a part of the problem and not a complete explanation of the problem. 

I ended a 10 year relationship a few years ago. We got along great and never really fought but had very different ideas for careers and family. He grew up a latch key kid with divorced parents, a relatively absent Father and a Mother who thought it was “safer” for the neighbourhood kids to drink and smoke weed in her house since they were going to do it anyway. Many times over the course of our relationship he joked to me about how he would never change a diaper or clean up after a sick kid and he would never jeopardize his career just because the pay and benefits wouldn’t be enough to support a family. He was a great guy and I think he would have been a very fun Dad but the writing was on the wall, if I wanted a life with him I needed to agree to being the bread winner, emotional labourer and child care provider. So, I ended it. 

FH and I are currently child free but planning to TTC in the next 6 months or so. He and I both grew up in homes with working Mothers are Fathers who contributed more than average (for the 80s and 90s) to child care. What is interesting to me when I compare the two is the differences in bread winner. My Dad had a higher income. When my older brother was born my parents hired a Nanny and my Mom continued her career. However, when my Dad was offered a promotion that required a relocation at the time my Mom was pregnant with me it was my Mom who had to make changes. She resigned so that she could move and my Dad could accept the job. Because she was pregnant (and again, it was the 80s) that meant she had no options for working. She ended up a Stay-At-Home Mom for about 10 years since she had another baby after me. During this time though, my Dad cooked dinners, coached soccer, was the only male “choir Mom” (they had to change the title because of him) and used his vacation days to volunteer as a parent for field trips.  I remember how difficult it was for my Mom to get back to work. She had to accept entry level work because of the gap on her resume and then work her way back up. What is interesting is that in the end she out earned my Dad. She continued to upgrade her education throughout her life and eventually ended up in a fairly high position before retirement. 

FH however, his Mom was always the bread winner. His Dad owns a small business while his Mom was a medical professional. When they had kids, the idea of either of them giving up their career was not really an option. He would have had to shut down his business completely and she would have had to give up a high paying job and benefits. So, they hired a live in Nanny. Mother-In-Law explained to me that this was the best solution. The Nanny did before school prep, then did the grocery shopping, cleaning and laundry for the house before picking the kids up from school. Mother-In-Law got to finish her work day and then meet up with Nanny and the kids at swimming lessons or violin lessons. She said it was the best of both worlds because she was still very involved in parenting but a lot of the running around tasks associated with parenting were eliminated. She said if they didn’t do this, she would have spent a lot of her “free” time running errands and cleaning. I wonder if they would have done this Nanny thing if Mother-In-Law had been the one with the lower income or if the assumption would have just been for her to resign. 

I am the higher income earner between FH and I. We are in Canada so I will take my 12 (or 18, if I can swing it) mat leave when the time comes but once I am back to work FH will likely have to do the sick days, Doctors appointments and after school pick up stuff since his schedule is so much more flexible. 

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