Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Let's Derail the Train Off of the "Mommy Track"

I resent being labeled as being on the "Mommy Track." First, unlike Thomas, I'm not a train, thus not on any track. Second, I've never once heard anyone speak about my husband or any male friend or colleague as being on the "Daddy Track." To that end, I've never even heard those words muttered in the general direction of a stay-at-home dad. Does the expression "Daddy Track" even exist?
I’ve been a practising entertainment/media lawyer for nearly a decade, holding three post-secondary degrees (B.A., J.D., LL.M.) and two bars (Ontario-2004; California-2008), and have earned every job I’ve held to date on my own merit. In 2009, I decided to write my first fiction novel, “Deathbed Dimes,” and is set to be published and released in Summer 2014 by Iguana Books, which I followed up with a satire fiction blog in 2011. Furthermore, I have written a collection of humour kids stories for parents and will be writing my sophomore fiction novel in 2014. Yet, as soon as my husband inseminated one of my eggs bearing us our first child in 2011, all of my accomplishments and endeavours were overshadowed and I was greeted with the same refrain from many men and women who crossed my path: “So you’re on the Mommy Track.”
Why does anyone need to label a woman, whether working outside of the home or not, as being on this particular set of tracks (or on the wrong side of the tracks depending on who is making the proclamation) as soon as she becomes a mother? Moreover, why is it when a woman chooses to lead a life in triplicate hyphenate (or more), wife/mother/career gal, somehow they are viewed as not being as committed to their careers as their non-breeding female counterparts? I’m never surprised when a man announces which track my training is running on, as it is generally par for the course in our patriarchal society, but when a woman does it, I often wonder, what real strides has the feminist movement made to advance womens’ presence in the working world.
Although women outnumber men in professional degree programs formerly dominated by men (i.e. law, medicine, dentistry), we still hit our heads on the glass ceilings as we birth our babies and get dinner on the table. Clearly, the dent made to change the attitudes towards working women who balance career, wifely duties, and motherhood has been as impactful as what driving cars has done to close the holes in the ozone layer. This fact is even more glaring when women look down upon their sisters who attempt to engage their inner jongleuse. These women must be reminded that, as Madeline Albright once stated, ‘there is a special place in Hell for women who don’t help other women.’ In fact, I’m sure that this special place has enough room to accommodate the unsupportive men out there who aid and abet in the crime of disabling or simply not supporting women succeed in both the workplace and in the home.
I’m a juggler wearing many hats: a lawyer, author/writer, mother, wife, entrepreneur, who also happens to be a woman. I hope that at the very least by exemplifying a woman who will not be limited by an external label, I can help other women believe that they can unlock their inner-jongleuse and go after their goals with the belief that they can and will achieve them to, because I schvitz too much to end up in that special place in Hell.

© 2013. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights Reserved. 

- See more at: http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/life/work/20131113/lets-derail-the-train-off-of-the-mommy-track#sthash.VVNcAejc.dpuf

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