In “At-Home Mothers Need Not Apply,” working mom N. Ahern tells her friend how she REALLY made her feel when leaving her out of the networking group she’d created (hint: Jersey cow came to mind).
“You probably don’t remember the day you made me feel like a farm animal instead of a professional. And if you do remember, it’s the sort of thing that would make you furrow your perfectly waxed eyebrows, hold your hands palm-up (if they weren’t busy with the Blackberry), and say, “What was the big deal?” If there was any doubt about the way you perceive my professionalism, now that I’m primarily at home with the kids, it’s gone now. The look on your face last week when you saw that I was pregnant with Number Five was really something, like I was part Jersey cow. I really think there’s a part of you that believes women are less interesting when they spend too much time with their children. Were you afraid I’d embarrass you at your networking club by talking about epidurals and breastfeeding instead of investment strategies? Do you think I checked my brain at the door the last time I was discharged from the Labor & Delivery ward? There are people I expect this behavior from, but I wouldn’t have expected a fellow working mother and friend to be one of them. Next time we’re at some liberal fundraiser and you get talking about prejudice and stereotypes, pardon me if I choke and spill my cranberry-and-soda down my maternity dress.”
N. AHERN is a freelance writer and editor specializing in travel, food, fitness, and parenting. She has written for magazines including Elle, Men’s Journal, Conde Nast Traveler, Health, American Way, Child, Yankee and Fit Pregnancy, and she has appeared on CNN, CNBC, and Good Morning America. She is currently at work on her first novel.
Read the rest of her letter, and 35 others, when PS What I Didn’t Say: Unsent Letters to Our Female Friends comes out October 1!