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Working Mothers
1 (a madar)

I have a question and I am hopping to get some feedback from everyone. I am Ph.D. level student in engineering and I have just started my job (first job) in a very good company and good position. I am also a mother of 3 year old with all the house responsibility. My husband is also very busy with his job.

Since I started my job I feel trapped, enjailed! This is something I was always hoping for and something all my friends are looking for. I also don't need the money, but my question is you go to school so many years and become professional and ultimately you like to hold a good position and ...

I like my major and I like to be active in my field but I don't like the company environment. Am I just going crazy?

I like to here from mom's or dad's who have been in my situation.


2 (a mother)

Madar #1,

First off, congratulations!! It's really great when someone realizes your value by a great job/salary! Probably the worse part of working for a company is not being able to take off time whenever you want and having limited vacation time.

Company politics are a mess - some play it well and others don't. You have to balance it with career objectives, salary (although you said you don't need the money) - it may indeed be a necessary step to get you to the next step where you really want to be. I'm convinced that part of it is just paying one's dues. Your little one won't necessarily be hindered while you work this out - but it does take balancing your life and making sure that you're a happy mom when you get home. Get a house keeper and figure out a way so you don't have to cook meals every night. That'll help majorly!

Also - if you really don't like the company, it could be that it's the particular corporate environment and a different company would be better. You may have to put a bit of time in before moving along in order to get resume value from it.

Good luck.

3 (a madar)

Dear Madar #1,

I, too, had many feminist dreams about becoming a professional woman. but I gave them up when I became a mother. now, I can't wait to stay at home (at least for a while) and take care of my family. somehow I know that I am not the only one who cannot balance work and family. I simply know that a *balance* does not exist in most cases...

I love motherhood, I feel blessed to be the mother of my children and want to enjoy rearing my children. but I cannot fully enjoy it simply because I don't have the time! I love to spend more time with them cooking, reading, walking, and doing things together. but unfortunately I am often tired when I am home. I feel like my most divine right to enjoy motherhood is practically being denied, and no, money will not make it up! I got a job after I got a college degree and I thought I was happy with it. but then I had my first child when I was employed and it was the worst experience in my life. Basically, all my dreams about the beauty of motherhood was shattered by the harsh reality of the industry and its written and unwritten policies. It was a shock to me... to make the story short, I came back to school (where I still am) and had my second child at school which was a better experience. I must add that the company I worked for was a start-up, the worst place for a new mom. but I have seen women in very good companies who decided to quit and stay home for a while. well, my feminist dreams have evolved and now in my dreams, I work *part-time* and have a *successful* career.

BTW, I agree with mother #2: if you can afford it, use housecleaning service, prepared food, etc. Remember: time and money are interchangable. we only talked about children, but a relationship needs time, too.

4 (madar#1)

Thank you for all your helpfull responses. It at least put me at ease and showed me some alternatives.

I think academia is the best place for a mom. Research is great, but with teaching sometimes students can get very rude over their grade (knowing you're a woman).

I guess my problem is more about balancing family life and work and if that's at all possible.

In academic environment you have lots of freedom as far as hours but little pay. At the same time if you stay in academia for too long companies don't like it and they won't hire you.

Sometimes we think of having a second child at it just seems impossible.

I just wanted to ask if anyone has been thru this and if they can give me some tips.

5 (a pedar)


I congradulate you for having your priorities straight. The best place we can see the fruit of our education, is in the upbringing of our children.

My hat goes off to you!

Please send your replies and/or opinions regarding this subject to madar-pedar@surya.eecs.berkeley.edu.

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