R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Looks like I’m about to find out what it means to me. 

This week I got invited to an exclusive, limited-seating technology summit with all the C-level execs in my company. It’s an honor few of us P-level folks got [peon level, if you’re following along at home].  Unfortunate however, because if things go according to plan, I’ll not be in attendance.  I’ll be knee-deep in dirty diapers and PB&J scraps, but that’s for another post.  I’ve also just started to receive senior-exec buzz on one of my pet projects.  The potential is pretty real for this project to be recognized at our upcoming Fall conference [and become serious resume-candy].  My manager has started to prep me for speaking sessions at the conference. Also nice but relatively meaningless for my next gig, VP of Toilet Training and Grocery Procurement.

At work, I know I’m respected for what I do because people seek me out for my expertise, and ask unassumingly for my time.  At home I’m not so sure.  The art and science of running a household wins no awards and holds no patents, save for SC Johnson, but anyway.  The point is, no one gets called an expert for getting toilets clean enough to eat soup out of, or genius for soothing a screaming child in the aisles of a grocery store. Those things are just part of the job.  Sadly, they can’t even go on a resume.  Sadly, I think a lot of women even invent loosely career-relevant fillers for their resumes to de-emphasize years spent out of the workforce to raise children.

I know it’s not realistic to expect a child to get the concept of respect, let alone my 10 month old or my 3 year old [see what I did there?]  But I’m starting to worry that I won’t be respected or feel as respected as I do in my career.  Little niggling fears are starting to stack up like the half-empty cups on my husband’s night stand that slosh luke-warm water on my feet in the morning when I’m carrying them, and the baby, down the stairs.  And the shoes that know better than to be in the kitchen rather than outside where they belong, even after being told this repeatedly in whispered swears as they get turfed out into the garage. And the clothes that pile up on the baby-gates – I don’t even have anything witty to say there except WTF?

Those nagging little things feel like an assumption about my role here, that either there is a magical fairy who follows us around picking up our crap, or that I’ll just happily do it and be thankful I don’t have to commute anywhere. And I’m beginning to feel like I have no place to say anything about it because I’m getting this great opportunity to stay home and I should just be grateful. But that, again, is for another post.

4 weeks and 3 days until I hand in my notice.  And maybe the respect that means more to me than I realize.

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