Or good mommy, bad employee?
Seems like a pretty sh*tty deal if you have to choose. And choose we must.
If I were to give my job everything I'm capable of, to put every ounce of drive and passion and creative fire into my work...I'd never see my kids. If I drove my kids to every appointment, made healthy organic meals from local sources, stayed home every time someone runs a sliver of fever and gave all three of them my full attention the minute I walk through the door each night? I'd be canned within a month.
Neither of those outcomes are acceptable, so I half-do everything. Giving both my employer and my children the short end of the stick. Apparently this stick of mine has no long end.
My kids get ignored or put in front of Dora while I work on a PowerPoint deck or take a call from the office. My child-free co-workers watch me leave every day at five while they put one or two more hours in at the office. So everyone resents me, and I resent being resented.
What's the solution? Find a way to work from home? That doesn't solve the "Oh Mom's on her laptop again" issue. Get a job that doesn't require (or inspire) me to be "always on"? I can't raise kids on a retail salary — or whatever sort of job a person can just forget about between shifts.
It's frustrating because I don't see any way out. Except ceasing to care.