We are entering prime vacation season. The time of year when people ask me, “Should I answer my email and check my voicemail during vacation?”
Ah, remember the good old days when you could only “check in” during vacation by picking up the phone and actually talking to another human being. So, for the most part, you didn’t do it.
Now, with the click of a mouse and a voicemail password, you can anonymously stay “connected” with the greatest of ease. And, for some people, that’s the problem. Clearly many of us still struggle with boundaries between work and vacation. This includes me.
Because the recent debate regarding mothers and work has focused on mothers who “opt out,” or mothers who’ve left the workforce and want to get back in, it’s perpetuated an assumption that most mothers would prefer not to work after having children. The problem is that it’s not true.
Yes, having children causes every mother (and many fathers, for that matter) to reevaluate the role work plays in their lives. Some mothers will choose to step out of the workforce. But lost in the debate is the fact that, for many mothers, their personal and professional realities support a decision to work full-time, either because they have to or want to. Yet this assumption that “mothers don’t work” causes these full-time working mothers to not only experience personal doubts about their choice even though everything is fine at home and at work, but to feel judgment from others.