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The Unspoken and Spoken Realities of Being a Working Mom: Time to Shift the Paradigm!

It was a Monday morning, and my mind was already racing through an inbox full of unread emails when I was caught off-guard by a question, dropped as casually as a comment about the weather. "Did you do IVF or did it just 'happen' naturally?" a male coworker asked, his eyes wide with curiosity. This was a single man, who had neither a personal relationship with IVF nor any conceivable connection to it - I assure you, this wasn't a share-and-compare moment.

It wasn't the first time I had encountered such intrusive curiosity about my reproductive choices, but it still took me by surprise. Now, let's flip the scenario. Can you imagine if we were questioning men about the role of Viagra in their virility, as a casual office chatter?

Sounds absurd, right? Well, so does questioning a woman about how her twins came to be.

Being a proud mother of seven (yes, seven), I've birthed five of them and juggled my role as Chief People Officer without dropping the ball on either side. I love the chaos, the multitasking, the continual learning - but I could do without the cliched assumptions that tag along.

It's still an unspoken tradition to ask a woman if she's planning to return to work after childbirth. Let's flip that one too. Would we ever consider asking a new father if he plans to return to work after his wife gives birth? I don't think so, because it's expected that he will.

This is the inherent bias that needs to change.

The corporate dance between professional responsibilities and personal commitments is challenging, but let's be clear - it's not a chore. It's a constant adventure, one that requires balancing and rebalancing, like a gymnast on a tightrope.

What we need is not sympathy, but a change in perspective. We need an environment where everyone is treated with respect, given equal opportunities, and where parental status doesn't factor into professional commitments. We need to get rid of the notion that working moms are always teetering on the edge, torn between their jobs and their homes.

We aren't seeking a revolution here, but a paradigm shift, a rethinking of the way we view and treat working moms. We're not just women caught between office and home. We're powerhouses, achieving targets and raising future leaders simultaneously.

The world would not function without working moms. We not only shape the future generation but also contribute to the successes of today. It's high time we started acknowledging these workplace realities with the respect and admiration they deserve.

So, the next time, ask how I manage to excel at my job while raising seven fantastic kids. Now, that’s a Monday morning conversation I’d be more than happy to indulge in.

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