The following is a guest post by freelance illustrator, designer, and writer Colleen Kong-Savage. There’s nobody more adept at getting things done like a single mother and I’m very pleased to read her point of view.
American society doesn’t think very highly of mothers. Only five nations in the whole big fat world do not have a national law mandating paid maternity: Liberia, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and the United States.
After seven months of tossing my cover letters and résumé into a black void, my boyfriend took a look at my cover letters. “Why do you mention that you’re a mother?!” he commented, wondering at my naiveté. I have been freelancing here and there as a graphic artist, and my sentence had been, “Now that my eight-year-old is in school, I am ready to take on more work.” I wanted to let prospective employers know what I’ve been up to the past eight years since I can’t list “parenting” under work experience. Another friend said, “You don’t want to say you’re a mother because employers wonder how often they will have to accommodate your child care situation.”
Are you kidding me?? What is up with this bias against mothers? Don’t American employers realize that all those required skills that they list in their help-wanted postings on Craigslist and LinkedIn have been honed to a lethally fine point as the primary caregiver of a new human being? It’s the TOPMOM program: Training Of Professionals, Multidisciplined Officials, & Managers.
TOPMOM PROGRAM INITIATIVE