Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Work It Out!

Anyone who is a mom with two kids like I am is probably an expert at division. Everything from orange juice to gummy bears to the time spent on a good night hug has to be equal. When it isn't one of my lil soldiers will call me on it and then I've got to make it right. And so as mom I'm proficient at cutting almost anything right down the middle if necessary. As my boys get older the challenge of constant equity becomes harder to achieve. Already, just based on their personalities, their academic abilities and what it takes to bring out the best of them, I can see that at any given time one may need me more than the other one. I come from a family of two girls and my mother used to always say - I love you both just as much but I love you differently because you're two different people.

I can't imagine the difficulties of having boys and girls in the same household. But people I know with "gender mixed homes" have to deal with this early on. are the chores, the time and the love equally divided or is mom putting more responsibility on the daughters and more hugs on the sons. And is dad going easy on the girls and showing tough love to his sons? However it goes in your house you need to ask yourself how it will translate to the work place someday.

Let's start by asking ourselves how our own family dynamics growing up has had an impact on us as employees. The topic comes to mind because in many workplace settings including mine - the women are carrying a much heavier load than the men are. We work harder, longer and are willing to do almost anything asked of us.

Not saying it's wrong just saying that's the way it usually breaks down and trying to figure out why. What are we trying to prove? Whose acceptance are we trying to gain? Who benefits and who gets hurt? A lot I think has to do with our work ethic and that starts at home. If you're parents were hard workers and expected the most from you, whether you're male or female then more than likely you inherited some of those qualities. I know I often thank my daddy for instilling in me such a strong work ethic. He treated work like he was going to the party - don't meet them there, BEAT them there.

But what if you saw your mom and dad both work hard outside the home but also saw your mom come and work hard and take on the food preparation, laundry homework, etc? What if you never heard your mom say no? As a woman would you grow up to believe you could do it all. As a man would you grow up thinking there's nothing you couldn't expect a woman to achieve?

Let me pause and take off my superwoman cape!

I am blessed to be working in a profession that I truly love. I mean a career that I have an absolute love affair with. The upside of that is I can spend hours at the office, in the studio, at home, by the pool, in bed - almost anywhere working or thinking about work and how I can get better and make the things I am responsible for better too.

That upside can also turn quicly into a downside because for me there's no quitting time, no off button, no real clear end of the day. And even if I did want to respect the 8 hour work day - how am I supposed to tell my boss I'm "closed" for the day??? I can hear him now ... "I wish a producer would .... "

But NO downtime???? That can't be good or fair for my family and relationships. And I know that my most of my male counterparts clearly divide what's work time and what isn't...and if they're putting in extra hours they're logging them and being compensated with money, time off or something.

But me????? And by me - I mean women across the globe. Yep, I've become the momentary poster girl for working women worldwide.

So why do it? What's in it for me?

The answer to those questions come easy for me. Satisfaction, gratification, a boost to my self esteem for starters and a lot that has nothing to do with money although, like anyone I would welcome more of it.

But I'd also welcome my bosses saying, "Damn Nikki, you work your behind off and we appreciate it. It really has made a difference." LOL Wishful thinking, huh?

Well I may never hear it but I already know it's true. And if I never hear the words - even after I print this blog out for my boss and show it to him - I will keep working hard at what I love.

And also realize that the hard work I put in on the job doesn't stop there. I'm a hardworking mother, friend, daughter and lover. I don't half-step at anything I do. So while my family and friends may suffer a little because my mind is on work so much they also benefit because I give everything my all.

And while I'm still waiting for the props I deserve at work and in some other areas, (you know what I'm talking about ladies!)my boys thank me every day and that's enough for me.

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