When my kids were little, my "sister" Judy came to visit. Sister is in quotes because by birth neither of us legally has a sister, which both of us regretted, so after about 20 years of friendship, we adopted each other. Judy was sitting at the kitchen table and I was cooking food to take to my mother in the nursing home (situated one good cry's worth away). I don't remember all the details anymore - but the weekly cooking was only one responsibility (my mother hated the food there so...). I was working full-time, the girls were perhaps 5 and 7 (no further explanation needed), Jeff and I had a looming book deadline, and on and on and on. "You never take anything away," she said. "You just keep adding things."
This is what Monique's piece is about. There are too many pieces for the puzzle yet we keep jamming more in. Thanks, Monique, as always:
IT'S ALMOST the end of National Women's Month and I have a big confession: I think we women ruined the workplace.
Ouch. I don't want to feel that way, but take a look. Once upon a time, when a woman took a professional job, she worked a 60-hour week on average. Her boss was a man and she thought she had to prove herself. She didn't make any more money than the guys who worked 45-hour weeks. She thought this was the glass ceiling, so she started working 65 hours instead. Still, she made no more money. She did, however, get promoted to head of her department. She was the lowest-paid department head in history, so she worked even harder.
Here's the honest truth: Her boss didn't even know what she made. He didn't care, either. She never felt secure enough to negotiate her own raise, so she waited for somebody to notice. They never did. So the extra $10,000 a year that would have made a world of difference to her family never came home. It stayed at the company where it meant absolutely nothing to anybody...
Monique Doyle Spencer is author of "The Courage Muscle: A Chicken's Guide to Living with Breast Cancer."