I've been wanting to say something to my boss.
My feelings, though, of disgruntlement have waxed and waned. One day I came into work, so fired up by my thoughts of injustice on the commute in, I furiously scribbled a list of Things I Do as ammunition.
I need more protected time.
But, things were busy that day and the list got pushed under a million other things, and by the time I remembered, the fire had smoldered and I thought, it's not that bad.
Another thing was holding me back.
Among my colleagues, I am the only one with children.
I've always feared that saying something about wanting a decreased workload or other dispensation would automatically trigger the - oh, that's the (weak) mother talking. At times, I feel like I need to prove myself as extra-productive to counteract such thoughts. Look! I can do all of this despite having kids!
Yet, the last couple of days were so overwhelmingly hectic that I again felt that need to have The Talk with The Boss. I talked it over with my husband and he agreed: I was doing too much, especially now while I was still nursing my son. But, do you think I should even mention family issues? I really didn't want to. Yes, it is part of the equation but it's not a part I'm willing to admit to my work (male) superior.
So, I sat down with The Boss and explained what I felt. I went over my projects and significant responsibilities, and asked for more protected time.
Which I was granted.
(Where's the Staples' That Was Easy button when you need one?)I wish sticking up for myself was easier, and that I didn't feel such hesitance due to my mothering identity. Maybe I would feel the same way, even if I didn't have children...women tend to be not as good negotiators when it comes to our jobs.
The extra protected time, though, is a serious boon. I'm glad I said something.