welcoming men to the mommy track

meet two of my stay-at-home-mom friends. one has an MBA with hardcore financial credentials and experience. one has an MA in public policy and has run several local and regional political campaigns. both high-achievers are stuck firmly in the quagmire known as workplace re-entry — a scary realm formerly reserved for stay-at-home-moms only, a place where it didn’t matter that you ran the world prior to motherhood — a place where what have you done lately? is the scariest question around. powerful moms like this are very common here in DC, much more than are their male counterparts.

thus, it’s refreshing to see that stay-at-home dads are now quaking over how employers view their time away once they need to return to the workplace. will they be devalued by employers just as the stay-at-home-moms have been, or will they pave the way to a more useful conversation — a more global idea of how to allow flexibility in the workplace for all caregivers that includes mothers and fathers as well as children who must take care of their parents or other fragile family members? of course, there’ll be a lot of pissed-off women if the issue gets traction once men enter the picture.

so step inside our stacked heels and listen up. having a portable skill, say, accounting, helps speed your return. you could start your own business, like this guy did. of course, you could move to Australia, where a government program provides grants for parents re-entering the workforce. (of course, the wife and kids might have something to say about that.) mostly, though, set your expectations and testosterone appropriately (read: you won’t be hired as the CEO this week), don’t let them ask any of those pesky, illegal interview questions, and go get ’em, tiger.

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