I went to an event about 18 months ago, not long after my book A Childfree Happily Ever After had launched. It was a professional women’s workshop, so the focus of the day was all about your business and finding ways to grow and develop.
Like most events of this nature, they asked everyone to introduce themselves. There were probably about 50 women at the event and as we went around the room everyone started to introduce themselves and every mum in the room, introduced herself as a “mum of 2” for example as well as what they did for business. It only takes one to start it right then everyone follows.
I was dumbfounded! How was being a mum relevant to the day or the discussion? It wasn’t! Yet most of the women felt they needed to justify their existence by including mum in their title. Clearly, they strongly identify with being a mum which is fine, and I have no issue with that however in a professional context it is not relevant.
At work, you are your role (so to speak). You have professional tasks to do and the conversations should be focused on the tasks at hand. Being a mum is irrelevant to doing your job from 9-5 pm.
I know that the workplace is full of working mums and that is perfectly fine as that is their choice. But I don’t understand why so much emphasis is put on working mums or women using the mum title in a professional environment, where being a mum shouldn’t be the focus.
I am an advocate for choice and all women should do what is right for them. But there is a time and place for everything. The workplace is not the place to push your ‘mummy agenda’ or expect special treatment (as many mums do).
There is no need to introduce yourself as a mother in meetings, at events, workshops or conferences. We do not care how many kids you have or haven’t popped out. I never introduce myself as Chief of Everything and childfree women. Being childfree is irrelevant to my ability to do my work just like being a mum is irrelevant to your work.
And don’t even start me on the term ‘mumpreneur’. Why does there need to be a special category created for women who have decided to have kids and run a business?
Should I start a category for ‘childfreepreneur’? C’mon, its too much!
Let’s stop being so precious and get back to what we are supposed to be doing in the workplace and at professional events – focusing on work!!
Book an in-house workshop or refer the Childfree Choices Program if you want to show support of all your staff’s choices.