Sunday, March 20, 2011

Did parenthood change the way you view your job?

Lara Logan in Iraq / CBS News photoAfter watching this "60 Minutes Overtime" interview with CBS foreign correspondent Lara Logan -- who was beaten and sexually assaulted in Cairo last month, prompting some media executives to consider pulling their female reporters out of Egypt -- I'm struck by one observation she shares.

In the interview, which aired in September 2010, the 39-year-old journalist describes coming under fire while with US troops in Afghanistan. "I ran for cover. Usually, I would run for the cameraman," she says. "But once you have two little babies at home, you have a little different perspective on things."

As working moms, we're all too aware of how other people may (or may not) perceive us once we become parents. Studies show that the age-old gender gap has been replaced by the motherhood penalty. Some companies woo parents with work-life balance-improving benefits and then penalize employees for using them. We worry that we're seen as slackers if we have to dash out of work to pick up a sick child, or if we can't stay late to work on an important project.

But what we don't often talk about is whether our feelings about our jobs change when we have kids. Not whether we'd rather work from home (or go into an office) or whether we want to downshift from full time to part time or opt out of the workforce entirely. I mean how becoming a parent can influence the work we do, and the risks we're willing to take while doing it.

So, let's talk. Did you view your job differently once you became a parent? What do you do, and how did your perspective change?

Photo: CBS foreign correspondent Lara Logan in Iraq (Photo from CBS News)


fibrowitch said...

I found out when I was fresh out of my teens that there was no way I could ever become a mother. So instead I found a field where I could be every bodies mom. I became an occupational safety engineer.

Sandra said...

I am stay at home mom however I think that kids and parenthood should change you and your job picking!