I am wondering if our situation is unique, or if others find themselves in the same circumstances.
When DS was a year old, I took off a few months to rethink my career path and find a job that satisfied my professional goals and my personal needs (i.e., a flexible, less than full-time schedule). I am very happy where I am now, in a small law firm, working with a lawyer who, though older, white, and male, truly supports my dual roles as the mother of a young child and a competent lawyer.
My DH, on the other hand, works in a start-up company for a physician who does not support DH's role as a father in a family with two working parents. Initially, he sounded quite supportive. He and DH had many conversations about the challenges faced by working mothers. It rapidly became apparent, however, that DH's boss believes the solution to those challenges is for working mothers all to go back home, where they belong. (His wife stays home and homeschools their four children.)
This week, for example, DS was sick with a high fever on Monday and Tuesday and could not go to day care. I had a brief to write for an appeal and absolutely could not take the time off. DH had no pressing meetings or deadlines, so he stayed home with DS.
When DH went back to work yesterday, he said it was plain that his boss was extremely angry - not because DH had failed to do work that was needed (he worked in the evenings after I came home and got quite a lot done), but simply because he wasn't there during regular office hours because he was parenting a sick child. His boss again raved about how women have been sold a bill of goods, that it isn't possible to "have it all," and on and on.
Ironically, of course, it is people like this man who create the very problems he describes.
His backward views have created a real dilemma for us. Because it is a startup, and DH could be let go on a whim by his boss, we end up having to consider his antagonism toward's DH's role as an equal parent any time Evan has to go to the doctor's office (which is 15 minutes from DH's workplace, but 45 minutes from mine), is sick, or has some other need during the regular work day. Aside from this week, I end up having to do more than either DH or I want because of DH's boss' views.
Aside from the differences with his boss, DH loves his job. It is exactly what he wants to do, and given where we live (a rural area), it doesn't make sense for him to leave his position there.
So often we discuss the lack of support for working mothers; the lack of support for fathers who share equally in parenting is just as insidious, IMO. My DH doesn't want to be the kind of father who changes one diaper a week and maybe takes his kid for a couple of hours on the weekend. He comforts DS when he is sick, plays when he is happy, changes diapers, bathes, clothes, and feeds him, nurtures him at night, and is in all ways my partner in parenting. He shouldn't be made to feel somehow less invested or less committed to his career simply because he wants to be a father as well.
Do you think that perhaps our sons, who grow up in an environment in which both parents share equally in the joys and responsibilities of parenting, will finally effect some changes for both mothers and fathers in the workplace?