#39 Pt 2-Is My Career Less Important Than My Spouse’s? The Part-Time Worker’s Bill of Rights.

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In the last post I shared struggles with the following:


  • In an effort to stave off the vampirism of my professional drive, I’ve entered a professional coma.
  • Or….am I simply entering a new, more mature phase of my life?

All of this was brought about when two angel investors jumped all over the Hot Mommas Project business model during the month of August.  We have the credibility. We produce great results in our classes with women. I am affiliated with a university and am an entrepreneur. And some other stuff. All of these things make the investors excited.  The real challenge is at home and how all of “this” will work. My husband is pushing me to kick it up a notch.  Should I? He even says he’ll help me. We’re a good team, see, just look at these T-shirts he got us…

Doesn’t this just spell “I support you honey?”

Pro argument: Don’t invite the vampire in. Having toned down the maniacal drive is a good thing. This is the “new phase” of my life where I learn that, in fact, the CEO of a major nonprofit being a snit is NOT that big a deal, but my daughter double-downing on Tylenol IS a big deal.  There’s maturity, perspective, and fewer highs and lows. DON’T LET THE VAMPIRE BACK IN!!

Con argument: Invite the vampire in. I’m in a professional coma. The old “get-obsessed-and-do-whatever-it-takes-to-get-it-done” part of me is possibly gone, or on hiatus. Only, no one has cured me of my coma or – conversely – ordered a DNR. I’m probably the only one who can do either. It’s time to welcome back our old friend…maybe there can be some cross-breeding with a Fairy like in True Blood so I can walk in the light with my kids and not be a professional troll/vampire holed away somewhere.

Sookie, a fairy on True Blood, whose blood allows Vampires to walk in the daylight. Bonus!

Well, “crat (this is my seven year-old’s attempt at a curse word).

Both of these sound sort of compelling.

I wonder if the answer is …. BOTH. I am BOTH in a new phase of my life, but also in a professional coma (compared to my past vampire drive self). So, what to do?  The main reason I don’t kick it up a notch is:

1. I get tired and

2. People in my house get cranky

If I’m not there to make things better, then…well….and that is when I came up with the Part Time Worker’s Bill of Rights. To keep people from thinking they’re doing too much, or not enough, and get my reinforcements in gear if I do hop back on the runaway train.

Part Time Worker’s Bill of Rights (Draft)

1. There is no such thing as “part-time.” The part-time worker is working ALL of the time. It’s really “split full-time.” List typical schedule here:

  • Typical schedule of split full-timer:________________________________

2. The part-time worker is home more often because it is understood that role has value. That value should be recognized and, if necessary, quantified to ensure a home filled with mutual respect for each other’s roles and skills sets. Quantify the numerical or other value of the part-time and full-time worker below:

  • Part-time professional worker:  ____________________________________
  • Full-time professional worker:  ____________________________________

3. Grievances of the part-time worker can and should be discussed, as they should for any member of the household. List what’s working and what’s not to be raised at a Sunday family meeting at 4:00. Use “I statements” in describing grievance, and make requests, not demands.

  • What’s working: _______________________________________________
  • What’s not working: _______________________________________________

4. The part-time worker reserves the right to “kick it into high gear.” If there is an opportunity,  he/she should expect some means to establish spouse and family support. Write an example of event, and type of support needed:

  • Kick it into high gear event/project example: __________________________________
  • Family/spouse support expected: _________________________________

5. The part-time worker should have a plan. Will they go back to full-time, if so when? Will they continue to work part-time? If so, the driven part-timer has an obligation to attempt to maximize “power per hour” or the amount accomplished/amount earned due to constricted hours. Write work schedule and plan for improving power per hour here:

  • Schedule: __________________________________________________________________
  • Power per hour tips: __________________________________________________________
  • Power per hour improvement plan: __________________________________________________

That’s as far as I’ve gotten.

What am I missing?

Related links:

Here is someone running for Senate with a platform of a policy-oriented Part Time Workers Bill of Rights

Read REAL Bill of Rights here.

From BPW Foundation: Women: Like Men, Only Cheaper

Momentum Resources: Part-time work for skilled professionals. Momentum DC CEO’s Hot Mommas Case here.

Hot Mommas Project Talk Shoe Audio Blog Episodes


What is this, where I am, who are you? If this is your first time here, this is the insider’s blog for The Hot Mommas Project. We are a women’s leadership project housed at the George Washington University School of Business (where I teach) and have an audacious goal of becoming a million dollar venture…while being led by a mom working part time. Since I started this blog, we have become the world’s largest women’s case study library. We showcase the stories of the women in your life in a TEACHABLE format, and they are published in major textbooks and used by educators. Click here to nominate someone.  Click here for about page. Click here to check out our classes which are producing stunning increases in self-confidence for women and girls.


8 thoughts on “#39 Pt 2-Is My Career Less Important Than My Spouse’s? The Part-Time Worker’s Bill of Rights.

  1. I’m having a hard time with your self-diagnosed “coma”… It’s hard for me to look at what you are accomplishing and think of you in that way.

    I would rather consider it “growing with grace”. You are looking at what you bring to your WHOLE life. Venture capitalists are only looking at one part. Sure they would like to “buy” the other parts of your life and have you give them up in favor of the Hot Momma’s Project. But you’re a smart person and you know that you can’t sustain a life on one nutrient.

    On the other hand you have created this wonderful product that appears to want to grow. The coach’s question would be “How could you see the product growing without diminishing the other parts of your whole life?

    Engage like minded partners?

    Hire staff and share authority and responsibility freely.

    Invite your “kick it up a notch” husband to do more.

    Your ideas here…

    I personally don’t believe an entrepreneur has to give up their life for their business. I think it is usually the case that entrepreneurs have difficulty dividing the decisions THEY need to make from the ones OTHERS can make. Separate out the ones you really need to make and you can “Build a Million Dollar Business Part-Time.”

    • You are really hitting on delegation. At least, that is what I am taking away from your comments. Relying on OTHERS. In the past, part of my “vampirism” was that I would not rely on others and would quickly move to fill in the grey area. I’ve had various experiences with delegation, management, and leadership – only now, the happiness of my home really depends on it. Thanks Paul.

  2. As I keep thinking about it, the other thing worth mentioning might be “living up to expectations.”

    Expectations can be a wonderful thing. More than anything else about my childhood I value the fact the my parents had an expectation of success for me. That expectation freed me to try things and drove me to do my best. In many ways I would define becoming an adult as the point at which my expectations became more important than theirs.

    As an adult I need to constantly assess my life against my expectations. Some of the most significant challenges in our lives come when we let the expectations of others drive us.

    If I said that right…here is my point.

    In what you wrote I hear the venture capitalist expectations and your husband’s expectations – but I don’t hear yours. At least not clearly. You do subtly suggest you’re not ready with things like – I am tired and my daughter doubling down on Tylenol.

    OK before I read too much into anything let me say… I love what you do. I think it is important. I hope you keep doing it. I don’t want to lose what we have in trying to get more. Take your time.

    • Expectations are a killer, aren’t they? It’s actually the number one challenge mentioned by working women who took our Hot Mommas Project survey a couple years back. I agree, but, I also feel an obligation to think big and not be a wimp. I want to stretch and grow, and there may be parts that are uncomfortable – so, anticipating that is what I’m dealing with. We have a rule about not being out more than one night a week (e.g., during the week a parent is home with the kids every night but one). I have a feeling a new set of rules and guidelines will have to surface, but, I’m not sure what they are. I do feel I need to do this. I’m not sure there will ever be a right time. As one of my advisors said, “They won’t wait for you Kathy.” So, yes, the WWF match with my expectations for myself continues.

  3. Pingback: Larger Than Life? | lifeframeworks.com
  4. Pingback: Summary of Posts 4 – Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time « Hot Mommas Project blog

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