You Won’t Let Them Do This To You Anymore

Before, you were a glutton for punishment. You were tolerant. You were accepting. If the boss wanted it, if the customer needed it, if it could help you in your career, you were up for it.

Long hours. Long flights. Calls at 2 a.m. Quick trips into the office on the weekends.

As we wrote recently, there were some advantages to your old life–when you were single, before you had kids. You were flexible and hungry. But now there is so much more to consider, so many competing responsibilities. There is, sadly, plenty of evidence showing how having kids can harm one’s career prospects, particularly for women. That’s unfair and should change.

Yet there are also advantages to the new you, the responsible you. Namely? Well, you don’t have time for bullshit and busy work anymore. One night, back in her political days as the Arizona Senate Majority Leader, Sandra Day O’Connor was called in for a surprise midnight session of the legislature. She headed in like old times…but then balked.

I’m not doing this, she told the political leaders of both parties. “My boys are going to camp tomorrow,” she explained. “I’m going to make sure their clothes are cleaned and their bags are packed.” Then she gave them five minutes to come to an agreement and wrap up the issue.

You have too much going on to accept some of the things you used to accept. Rudeness. Drama. Poor boundaries. Unpaid extra work? Unpredictable scheduling? Long, needlessly drawn out meetings? Get out of here with that. No time. No interest.

You can’t let them do it to you. You can’t do it to yourself. Because the person it’s actually being done to is not you at all–it’s your babies. It’s the people you claim to love and want to protect more than anything.

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