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The Mommy Job

Why shouldn't I get one?

by Jen Creer  |  2951 views  |  5 comments  |        Rate this now! 

Did you see this recent New York Times article?  Is the Mom Job Really Necessary? Well, of course it isn't necessary. But does that mean we shouldn't do it?

The NYT article is not about a part-time job, as Sarah, a character on Brothers and Sisters innocently asked of a playground mother contemplating the Mom Job. It's plastic surgery: Boob job, tummy tuck, and lipsuction. Implants are optional. I actually reviewed that episode of Brothers and Sisters and laughed about that scene. Here it is, popping up again. So to speak.

Sure, plastic surgery is something that most of us probably think of as reserved for women in Hollywood whose livelihoods depend on their appearances. But if you believe Penelope Trunk's most recent blog post, your job depends on your appearance too.

I am a medical editor. I work from home. For the most part, nobody sees me. But I do have a website http://www.editrx.com with my picture on it. I had just gotten a super-short haircut and I am overweight. I have worried at times that I have lost potential business because that picture of me is on there. However, smart money seems to dictate that if you want people to hire you when they won't meet you, you should include a picture of yourself. I just wish the picture of myself looked more like the me in this picture rather than this picture. I have no evidence that I would get hired more if my professional picture were of me as my slimmer, younger, longer-haired, blonder self. But I can't help but wonder-- especially when I read posts like Penelope's.

But for me, it's not really about my professional image. Like I said, I am a medical editor. I work from home. So, why would I even contemplate plastic surgery? Well... it's more just for *me.* I have always said that when I am 43, I will get my boobs lifted. Doctors in the NYT article are concerned that women who show up for one thing (a tummy tuck) will go for the trifecta because it's part of a package. I sheepishly admitted to myself that I had had the same thoughts: Wouldn't it be nice to get a tummy tuck while they're in there? I have had three pregnancies, three c-sections, and breastfed three children, each for more than a year. Don't you think I deserve a Mommy Job?

I am aware, yes, that Mommy Jobs are risky. It does seem like a stupid way to die: In the interest of being more beautiful. Shouldn't I just accept aging gracefully? Sure. I'll stop plucking my brows, shaving my legs, wearing lipstick, and highlighting my hair too. But those things aren't as extreme as plastic surgery! I can hear you thinking it because I have bionic paranoia. They may not be as extreme, no. But we, as women, still do a lot of things to try to look younger, fresher, firmer. Am I forbidden from getting elective surgery, then, because there is a 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 50,000 chance that I will die from complications? I mean, the risk is really up to me. It's risky to get into my car and to step onto airplanes too, but I still do it. I am so sick of people talking about how I can't do things because something *might* go wrong. That's no way to live your life. So, hang on, 43. Mama's saving up for a Mommy Job.

About the Author

Jen Creer is a medical editor who has successfully run her own company, Edit Rx, LLC, for more than two years.

Read more by Jen Creer




5 comments so far...

  • Jen, about that photo, maybe you could have the photo you really like of yourself photoshopped to remove the cute man...

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KatieK on 8th October 2007

  • I don't know if my interest in the described procedures can be called a MommyJob since I had my baby 15 years ago. I have never been down on my body because of the stretchmarks, etc. But I have been carrying a lot of extra weight the last five years as a result of taking certain medications. I'm almost 45. I reject the American belief/wishful dream that women have to be alluring until the day they die (my 70+ mother still diets on a daily basis out of fear her second husband won't find her sexy). I do not color my hair. I got tired of feeling the chemicals on my scalp and how it had to be redone every month, and was always thinking of what percentage of women (and men) dye their hair and of all of those chemicals (massive amount, really) getting poured into the earth...

    I am carrying an extra 45 pounds or so. I put them on in the last 7 years. When I see "extreme makeover" show on TV, I think about the MommyJob Package-- but I would only do it if first I had lost all of this weight and kept it off for a least a year and was very fit. If I STILL thought about it, then I might consider it, but only then. I would not do it to "be sexy" but just to have my riding clothes fit better. I am training over the next three years to become a competitive dressage rider. Tight riding breeches, knee length boots...it would be cool to look *really good* on my gorgeous red stallion.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KatieK on 8th October 2007

  • I personally detest hospitals, but I have thought about getting a breast reduction and lift, simply because mine have expanded and drooped drastically with each of my two children and it is far more depressing to me than my tummy or back fat!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Genesis on 6th October 2007

  • Hmmm... It's not the risk factor that would stop me, but the feeling that there are limits to how hard I'll try to maintain the illusion of youth. Colouring my hair? I'll do that. For perhaps another ten years. Surgery? I just don't know. The "decision" is made much easier in that there is no way I have an extra few thousand to toss away in this manner. Would I if I did? I doubt it.

    Philosophically, I've always been opposed to this idea that there is a perfect body we must all aspire to, at any cost. I certainly aspire to have the best exterior I can -- but I'll stick with the framework I was handed at birth.

    Having said that, I'll confess to you, because you're a friend, that the other night I happened to notice how my belly pouches when I bend forward ... ick! I actually googled "tummy tucks" and decided the post-operative scarring wouldn't outweigh the improved silhouette, anyway.

    And so, if I'm thinking those kinds of thoughts - very practical, pragmatic thoughts - would I really be so unlikely to put myself under the knife? Yes. I really don't see myself ever doing it. But age, pregnancies, and the inexorable toll time and gravity have taken on me have mellowed me on this issue. I won't, but if you want to? Whyever not?

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MaryP on 5th October 2007

  • I ponder the mommy job for myself; but then remember my deep aversion to things like needles, blood, and pain. Those things definitely rule out a mommy job for me. Over the last year or so I have found myself doing more yoga (except this week), exerting a lot more energy on the treadmill, searching for the perfect moisturizer and being much more faithful to my sunscreen. The next step is washing that gray out of my hair; great news for my stylist, bad news for my checkbook.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by CursingMama on 5th October 2007

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