Any Moms in Tech?

Amazon CwVP04
Jun 20 67 Comments

I'm starting to think about having kids and when I want to do that. I was raised in a big family and loved it and would like to have 3-5 children. But I also want to be there for them and participate actively in their lives. Is this even possible? Every woman I've met who had gotten pregnant while working inevitably quits. Is it unrealistic to think I can have that many children (aka 3-5+ years of maternity leave) and still work on my career? Has anyone done this? It's getting very frustrating seeing my male colleagues having the home lives they want without having to take any real time off (like 3 weeks a year maybe). Maybe women just can't have it all....after all....

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TOP 67 Comments
  • Microsoft Tiffany&co
    ask your spouse to be a stay at home dad so that you can continue your career instead of getting frustrated on your male colleagues
    Jun 20 3
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      We already have that arrangement. I'm not concerned about after they're born. I'm concerned about the years of work-time I will miss by just having to give birth -- something that males do not have to do. And no, surrogates is not an option.
      Jun 20
    • LinkedIn 黃帝
      Honestly, you shouldn’t have kids if you’re concerned about your career.

      Since you’re only starting to think about having them, like most people, you have no idea what having kids is actually like. That’s why you have the energy to go on blind and whine about the unfairnesses blogged about by childless quartz editors.

      After you have a kid, you’ll understand.
      Jun 21
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      Is it so wrong to want to have kids and a career? I have wanted both my entire life. And I have YEARS of childcare experience so I do know a thing or two. And the things I don't know, I am willing to learn.

      This post isn't to whine. It's seeking advice from MOMS who work and enjoy doing both. Not people who regret having their own children.
      Jun 21
  • LinkedIn nommy
    Not a mom (yet), but I got some good advice from older women who have been there. The correction is “women can’t have it all...at the same time”.

    You can have multiple children, you can work on your career. But you likely won’t be able to be there for every moment your children have and work on your at the exact same time. The men you see, are they spending all day with their kids? Or are they just telling you all the wonderful weekend moments? If both parents are working, they will likely be equally involved/uninvolved with their children.

    Unfortunately, if anyone takes time off of work (man or woman), they won’t be able to pick up their careers right where they left off. It’s just that as women, we feel that we have a rightful justification for why we needed 1-2 years off (and I think that is absolutely fine).

    I used to be frustrated as well. But think about it this way. For all the women who don’t want children or cannot have children, and are grinding away at work for the 1-2 years their coworkers take time off to have children. That’s their choice. Just as having children is that person’s choice. Would it be fair to them that their colleague who has physically been unable to work for months, (maybe) working part time, or has just straight up not worked at all can come back and expect a promotion just because time has passed?

    If you want to work on your career, and don’t think you’ll be able to be there for your team (either in the office or be able to support them through work product), then there are roles out there that allow you to be remote (allowing more time with your children), but also still allow you to continue building your skills (and no serious lag in employment).
    Jun 20 0
  • Groupon troyh
    I don't understand why in multiple threads elsewhere I see people at Microsoft and google saying they work 6 hours a day and yet everytime someone asks about being a mom in tech it's suddenly this huge grind. You can't be a superstar picking up new projects in your spare time, and have time for young children. But you can have excellent TC and do a great job at the right company that doesn't care about 9-5 as much as results
    Jun 21 5
    • Google əๅɓoo⅁
      You can coast if you have been at the company for a while and found a sweet spot. If you have a break due to maternity leaves, it may not be possible.
      Then working 6 hours plus 2 hour commute will not leave much time to spend with kids. Kids need a lot of time.
      Jun 21
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      Good thing I have a 15 minute commute :)
      Jun 21
    • Google əๅɓoo⅁
      You do want a short commute if you want to see the kids, but it (obviously) severely limits the job choice. You want to live near good schools and can’t move easily as changing schools is not easy for the kids.
      In the valley major employers and good schools tend to be far apart (with some exceptions like Palo Alto and Cupertino, but these are crazy expensive).
      Jun 21
    • Groupon troyh
      What Google said is true, that's why I worked remotely 3 days a week until my kids were 5 and 3, then dropped down to 2 days a week. Not certain that Amazon would let you do that but do a good job now and then move to a company like Salesforce etc that encourages remote work.
      Jun 21
    • Amazon OdpS15
      Seattle has good schools in general so you can have short commutes and have kids. Don’t listen to Google. Conservative bullshit.
      Aug 30
  • Google əๅɓoo⅁
    A friend of mine has 4 kids and a full time tech job. Honestly, it is a struggle. The kids are neglected and career is in the slow lane (job choice limited by WLB needs and commute, missing promotions due to maternity leaves etc).
    My wife and I decided early on that she stays at home and I chase the TC.
    Jun 20 5
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      That's not an option for us. I'm the primary breadwinner and my husband has agreed to stay home.
      Jun 20
    • Google əๅɓoo⅁
      If husband stays home then you should be able to make it work, but you’ll have to swap the traditional roles. This may be difficult. Another friend of mine is in this set-up and is not very happy with the role reversal though they are OK financially and kids are well taken care of.
      Jun 20
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      My husband and I have always had a non-traditional relationship and he is very much excited to be the stay at home parent. Even now, he does the majority of the traditionally female house-work. Being okay with role reversal and f**king gender norms is something I looked for in a partner.
      Jun 21
    • Google əๅɓoo⅁
      Then you are likely fine. The friend I talked about above comes from a culture with strong gender role stereotypes. She would rather see her husband work.
      Jun 21
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      That's fair. It takes a lot of ego-dissolution work to be comfortable going against societal norms
      Jun 21
  • Microsoft D)usRl?4
    The thing that is not talked about much is the physical toll of giving birth. Don’t forget to take that into consideration. It can have an outsized impact
    Jun 20 1
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      That is actually my main point in starting this conversation. My husband has agreed to be the stay at home parent while our kids are young. It's the years of pregnancy and birthing that will have the impact, especially as I am the primary earner for my household (I make 3x as much as my partner).
      Jun 20
  • Amazon / Data bertnearn
    Im a tech mom with 1 kid, and I probably won't have more. Husband stays home (with some side gigs) and we have a lot of childcare too. It's hard, but I have time to be a kind of "dad" figure in my kid's life and my career is going well. I don't drop kid off in the morning and I rarely make lunches or pick kid up. But, I'm almost always home for dinner and bedtime and we get good quality time on the weekends and during vacation. It was super duper hard when my husband and I both worked full time and kiddo was little. We were all sick a lot (that's typical).
    Jun 20 6
    • Amazon / Data bertnearn
      The main reason I don't want more is time, I think. I like having time to do my own life things (hobbies, travel), and I think I would lose it if I had another. It would definitely be a career hit too. On the whole, I just feel a little too selfish to make the sacrifices I would need to make to have another. My org does has decent wlb, and I'm in a position where I can make space for my life without losing the trust of my team and manager.
      Jun 21
    • Amazon / Data bertnearn
      Additionally, I took a four month leave with my first babe and then went back to work 3 days a week, and then 4, but I worked from home until she was two. She was with a nanny while I worked, but I could breastfeed instead of pump and could easily take time off when she was sick. At two, I started a full time job and worked from home one day a week. If my husband could gestate and nurse a baby, I'd probably be more interested in having another... But he doesn't have the right anatomy for that. He worked full time while I did the babymaking, but he didn't love that-- he'd rather work less (I'd rather work more).
      Jun 21
    • Amazon / Data bertnearn
      (I didn't start at Amazon until kid was 3)
      Jun 21
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      My husband and I have the same dynamic. It's hard to not wish I was the male sometimes.
      Jun 21
    • Amazon / Data bertnearn
      I feel ya on that one, op.
      Jun 21
  • Microsoft / Eng jklnbd
    My spouse and I both work (tech and finance) and have 3 kids. Don’t want until your 30’s if you want 3 or more- so many of our friends have been hit with fertility issues, even before 32. Something has to give. Our careers have grown more slowly, but we’re ok with it.
    Jun 20 4
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      We've seen the same in our older friends. How did you manage maternity leave? Didn't you feel like a slacker?
      Jun 20
    • Microsoft / Eng jklnbd
      3 different leaves in 3 orgs. If they really want to keep women, they have to accept it. I’m even more focused and a better multitasker now! But I don’t expect to hit principal, probably ever, but at least not any time soon.
      Jun 20
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      Do you feel like you get enough time with your children?/Are you able to work from home? I'm deciding which org/company to work for next based on ability to manage work/life balance and flexibility at work.
      Jun 21
    • Microsoft / Eng jklnbd
      No, there’s never enough time. But once they are in school 8-3 and have sports, it’s really not very different. I occasionally wfh, but never more than once every other week. It really depends on the team and the org. I’m definitely judged for not working as hard right now.
      Jun 26
  • Google / Consultant hyperbunny
    I can't speak from experience as I don't have kids. My previous boss however has 3 young sons. I left the job a year ago and the youngest son just started school this year and since then she's also now moved to a new role. My boss was a high performer prior to having kids, and she took a slight backseat on her career to make sure she didn't have too much international travel and could be there for her kids. Whilst this was happening her husband was holding a very senior role as well. It's this that allowed them to have a nanny who lived in with them and took care of the home and kids. It's taken maybe 7-9 years but she just moved to a role that is the same level as her husband.

    From working with her I have a couple of observations:
    1) If you care enough about your career having kids doesn't have to change your level of care / interest in pursuing your career but it does affect how you work and your stress levels and it does make it harder.
    2) Often you have to make compromises in your career at points in time and also in your day to day life. For her the compromise was that she stopped doing self development. She focused on delivering her day job and then home time was for the kids. The only training she got was occasional formal management/leadership training. I will be honest, it did impact how she performed because this lack of self development happened over years, so the team did start to lose a little bit of respect for her on that front. I also think she stayed in the role longer than she would have if she didn't have kids, and I do think she would have left earlier if it wasn't for her home responsibilities.
    3) She was incredibly lucky that her and her husband earned high enough salaries to be able to afford a nanny. I don't know anyone else who has one...
    4) It would be nice to have a partner who would share responsibility with you 50:50 for things like when kids get sick but for my boss that wasn't the case and she picked up maybe 80% of what needed to be done. When her kids were sick it was usually her staying home with them and taking them to the doctor.
    5) Family support is important if it's available. She had no family support. It's not that she had no family. It's that they believed she should not work while having kids so they refused to support her decision or help her, which was incredibly tough for her.

    So while I think she is an edge case, if you're also a high performer maybe this is a case worth considering. I definitely don't think it's easy, and I do think you have to make compromises. It wouldn't be realistic to have everything at once I think or have the expectation that it won't affect your work style. But I believe it is possible to care about work and kids.
    Jun 20 0
  • Oracle hmoney
    Just curious, why did they quit?
    Plenty of moms in my org, none quit, and most have multiple kids.
    Jun 21 7
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      I want to work my 40hrs/week. I just want to do it at my house so I can take care of my kids while they're young and are literally dependent on my physical body to be there to feed them. I don't need to work9-5 to get my job done. I can work 6-8, 10-12, 2-4, 6-8... or any other combination of 8 hours a day. Know of any companies that don't care what time of day you're working at?
      Jun 21
    • Oracle hmoney
      Just need to find the right team, probably possible at Amzn too. be open w/ recruiters. What type of role are you in?
      Jun 21
    • Oracle OlJs40
      you can't work and take care of small children... lol. they need 100% of your attention. Ask your parents. laughing really hard at this.
      Jun 21
    • Pinterest softpea
      Pregnancy discrimination is very common in a fast-paced environment such as many Internet companies including amazon. Many women may have been managed out without fighting
      Jun 22
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      @Oracle OIJs40 -- so what I'm just supposed to be unemployed, making zero$ while my kids are young? Or you want me to be dependent on a man for income?
      Jun 27
  • The Home Depot / Eng efbr00
    I’m a tech mom and my career soared after I got married and had one kid. I doubled my salary within the first three years of her birth. My husband works too. I have friends who are in tech who have done well too despite two kids and working in FAANG. The big thing that has helped me is that I have a husband who does 50% of his share. We have not suffered because of having kids. People who tell you that nannies hurt kids have never stayed home with a unhappy unfulfilled insecure stay at home mom who was abusive. My friends who grew up with nannies and professional mothers are doing fine in life.
    Jun 26 2
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      I think having a nanny is fine as long as you prioritize time with your kids and getting to know them. A nanny isn't a replacement mother, it's just help.
      Jun 27
    • HBO / Design
      Boul61

      HBO Design

      PRE
      Amazon, Microsoft
      Boul61more
      Nope is not. I have multiple kids and had Nannies from about 3 months until 13z some were full time, then part time, then an ah pair/mothers helper. As a type A mom, iit made sure my kids never want to day care nor missed an activity if I needed fro be somewhere else. I stayed home but ended up as a Mulri published author. Nannies travelled with me on book tour and on vacation if needed. Kids are all well adjusted, expose to serval languages early and were never confused at all.
      Think of it as daycare coming to you, even with a live in. Off hours were off hours
      Jun 27
  • Oracle jdiirijnu6
    Quits? I seen a lot of moms vesting on maternity leave
    Jun 20 5
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      I'm not sure what this comment means.
      Jun 20
    • Oracle jdiirijnu6
      What are you confused about?
      Jun 20
    • Your grammar and the implied meaning of “vesting”
      Jun 20
    • Oracle jdiirijnu6
      Sounds like u r perfectly capable of understanding
      Jun 20
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      I think *maybe* you are saying that I should take maternity leave while my stock is vesting??
      Jun 21
  • LinkedIn nommy
    OP, I will add one more thing after reading another comment. I admire you for wanting to be the person spending time with your kids. It seems like you personally want to be there. My husband was raised by a live in nanny, and I have many friends who had a nanny growing up. I can tell you (and these are not exceptions), the relationship they have with their mother (specifically) is...not great. I don’t think it’s because they resent that they had a nanny, but rather the bond formed with their children wasn’t as deep.

    There’s nothing wrong with having a full time nanny, part time nanny, or anything in between. But it seems like you want to form a deep connection with your children, and I haven’t seen many success stories surrounding that when nannies have been involved.
    Jun 20 4
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      I agree. I had nannies growing up and absentee parents. I want to be able to earn enough as the primary breadwinner in my family, but not have to subject my children to a lack of a parental bond.
      Jun 20
    • LinkedIn 黃帝
      There’s nothing wrong with a nanny. But a child isn’t a dog you send to daycare.

      If your career is that important, don’t have kids. Or accept that you won’t have as close of a relationship, and you’re going to me missing a lot of those moments with them because you’re making the big TC shuffling abstractions around.
      Jun 21
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      @LinkedIn -- again, my career and my children can BOTH be important to me. The big TC I'm making is enough to support my family as the primary earner (I'm not a software dev). Not working isn't an option. But I refuse to accept that I can't have children.
      Jun 21
    • Amazon OdpS15
      My mom was a stay at home mom and I don’t talk to her. My husband also had a stay at home mom and he doesn’t talk to her either. Quit telling women they need to go back to the kitchen.plenty of women have close relationships with their kids despite working full time. My best friends mom was a single mother who worked most days and she is very close to her. Your relationship with your child had nothing to do with you working. God this place is so regressive.
      Aug 30
  • Amazon ohbother
    My team is remarkably good about this. My manager is currently pregnant and has a 3 year old. Maternity leave didn’t hold back her promotion and she was given the flexibility to say no travel for a year. My skip has 3 kids, 1 of which she had in this team, has not held her back. An L6 colleague has 2 kids, an L7 has 3 (in addition to all the men who have kids). It is commonly accepted that people keep reasonable hours and have the flexibility to work from home for kid reasons among others).

    A few things that I think help create this environment: a high number of women on the team, a leadership chain filled with women, and being on a team that’s not core/prod - with the last one probably being more significant than I’d like to admit. There are tech teams in Finance and HR that are likely to hit these requirements, will still offer opportunities for advancement, and let you go back to a production team when you feel ready (or stay because your team is fucking awesome and seems like a place that technical women go when they’re tired of sexist bullshit).

    Good luck!
    Jul 9 2
    • Microsoft Tiffany&co
      fill the whole org or even better create an all women company
      Jul 9
    • Amazon ohbother
      I’ve seriously thought about an all women company, but can’t figure out how to get around EEO laws without objectifying everyone (i.e. it’s legal to discriminate in hiring only if it is required that the job be done by a certain gender, like Hooters waitress or stripper)
      Jul 9
  • Amazon / R&D
    ps.ily

    Amazon R&D

    PRE
    Google
    ps.ilymore
    Have you considered working remote or moving towards consulting/PT?
    Jun 20 1
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      I think this is the best option for me. Any advice on how to get into it? Especially as a young female? Most people I know in consulting are older and I can't wait that long (uteruses expire).
      Jun 20
  • HBO / Design
    Boul61

    HBO Design

    PRE
    Amazon, Microsoft
    Boul61more
    I did it. Stayed home 7 years , then consulted and segued back into full time gig. Spent some a few years feeling like I was catching up, but it was worth it. Spent some of that time at Amazon. Was fortunate enough (2 tech salary family) that I was always able to afford nannies when needed.
    Jun 22 2
    • Amazon CwVP04
      OP
      did you work while home for 7 years? I'm the primary earner in my HH so we can't afford for me to take time off.
      Jun 27
    • HBO / Design
      Boul61

      HBO Design

      PRE
      Amazon, Microsoft
      Boul61more
      No. Did lots of volunteering and wrote a book
      Jun 27
  • New eu9
    I'm a single mom to one child. You can definitely be a mom in tech. Even easier if you have a partner. Go have your kids.
    Jul 3 0
  • Airbnb
    rPOY02

    Airbnb

    PRE
    Amazon
    rPOY02more
    I’m a mother in tech with three children and a husband with a full time job and a long commute. It’s tough to succeed in all aspects at the same time. I’m managing to be mediocre/average at all three (parent, spouse, and worker). I deliver at work but feel written off. The early years of my older children are a complete blur. But I spend a little bit of time with all of them every day, even if for just a few minutes. I’m a better person working than I would be staying home, and the extra money is spent on our children’s education and enrichment. I have no time for any friends, exercise, or leisure activities, but at some point my children will grow up and I’ll be too old to be in tech, so I’ll catch up on those things then.
    Jun 27 0
  • I want to have a big family too, and I have accepted that I just can’t have it all. I have a 22 months old baby girl, and I spent a lot of time with her, work 9 to 5. Even though I still have to take a lot of time off because baby can get sick very often, and if a family member gets sick, everyone will get sick too. You’ll be too tired. Babies usually bond with one parent in the first few years of their lives. My husband also takes a lot of time with her, but she only bonds with me and prefers me, this makes my husband kind of sad. I think this is your own decision, but everything comes with consequences. You just have to accept it.
    Jun 26 0
  • The RealReal 乁(ツ)ㄏ
    Mom in tech here. Making it work with new baby. Would need to have a few more personal bits of info to offer advice on “roadmapping out your family plan.”

    If you’re interested, dm me...
    Jun 21 0
  • Oracle OlJs40
    how insane are the hours at amazon? You probably don't want to work there when you have kids.
    Jun 21 0

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