I am not sure what the answer is myself. This is one of those issues where I could keep busy for a week just debating in my head. I am referring to a column I read in the local paper (I still love reading the paper paper with a cup of coffee in hand) entitled "More employers discriminating against mothers". by Megan Hook.
Ms. Hook is a stay-at-home mother of three boys who describes her attempt, after 4 years of stay-at-homeness, to rejoin the workforce, and applies for a job at her former employer. Well several jobs at her former employer. To make a long story short, she didn't get the job and it was insinuated that it was because she had small children at home.
Here's my dilemma: the Retro Housewife in me says "hooray" because it will be better for her boys for her to be home with them, and I think if you stock the world with offspring, you should take care of them as well.
But I don't like discrimination for stupid, arbitrary reasons. It really bugs me. I have heard the sad, flappy argument about how women with kids will need to spend more time taking care of them, can't work long hours, blah blah blah. Or maybe it's the one where they say "she has been out of the work force for 4 years and her skills are rusty". (Possible comeback: so what's your excuse?). I am not even going to deny that those two statements have some truth to them. But here's the thing... So what?
On the plus side, you have a more mature woman, who understands responsibility, who obviously WANTS to be there and will most likely be 3 times as motivated, and goof off less because she has become an expert at time management and has no patience for hanging out at the water cooler gossiping. So maybe she won't be able to "work" late. The quotes are intended.
I have a real problem with the "who can pretend to work the hardest bunch" (the ones at the water cooler gossipping, taking 2 hour lunches and then staying at work until 11:00 at night to impress the boss and show everyone how macho they are.) I have seen plenty of these goofballs during my working career and I have to say they really ruin it for the productive employees.
Face it folks, you will get more out of a person when they are fresh and well rested. Everyone should go home at 5:00. Plus, a mother has experience that you can't learn in school, (it's called common sense) and is an expert at handling stressful situations. She is trained to see things as they are. All invaluable skills in ANY workplace.
So that's it! I know what I think now! We mothers are far too valuable to be wasting our skills in some dumb office. But if you can convince one to come work for you, you've got gold and you better treat her as such.