Mothers Should Lie About Being Moms During Job Interviews

Say What!? 77

business womanWould you lie about being a mother in order to get a job in this economy? A down economy is hurting a lot of families. There are a lot of unemployed people out there and a lot of those people are moms. A new study, which looked at the outcomes for laid-off workers across the United States, found that married women with kids, moms just like you and me, spent more time in between jobs than married dads. Why you ask?

Employers see women who have children as a liability because they might put their children first. *Gasp* Isn't that exactly what people are supposed to do? Put their children first. Isn't that the first line of the new parent handbook?

So how do moms get around being penalized for being mothers by potential employers? Simple, we don’t disclose it in the interview. Legally an employer can’t ask if you have children or if you are pregnant. Of course, if you are nine months along, there’s no purse in the world that is going to be able to hide that. I say we take the don’t ask, don’t tell offense.

Why should women disclose the information that we have little people that we love more than any job if it’s only going to result in discrimination? If I’m going to be judged by an employer for being a mommy rather than my merits as a worker, then I’d rather just take my family out of the hiring equation. When my kids need me, I will just take my personal days.

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For the record, I think this is bullshit. Why should I have to lie about my role as a mother to get a job? I shouldn't, but this is the world we live in. It’s not my dependability or skill level as a worker that is in question. The issue employers have is that mothers have an obligation to the children that they brought into the world, an innate sense of loyalty and love that cannot ever be trumped by a career. Employers fear moms won’t be as committed or available to their job as their dad counterparts.

Sure a career is important to us. We go to college just like dads. We work hard to build our careers and we love what we do. We just love our kids more. By the way, if you ask most dads, I’m sure they love their kids more than their jobs too. But no one ever asks them.

A mom might need more flexibility in her schedule than someone who doesn't have children. Our children are the priority, but the same skills that make us great mothers (driven, caring, organized multitaskers, skilled in time management, able to coordinate schedules, and oversee many different personalities) will make us assets in any work place.

Would you lie about being a mother in order to get the job?


Image via Victor 1558/Flickr

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the4m... the4mutts

I would lie, and have planned on lying more than once. But then the "why is there a significant gap in employment"? Always comes up. I haven't thought of a good enough lie yet. Maybe claim I'm married, and took time off for travel? Or lie about working from home? Idk.

cmjaz cmjaz

Wow. I've never encountered that. Only the pregnancy issue.

puasa... puasaurusrex

But what happens when you get the job and need to take off for something child related? Do you just continue to lie? That doesn't sound like a very well thought out plan.

t0vanal t0vanal

My sister has lost 2 jobs she was really qualified for due to this.  She could actually see the interview go from very promising to the interviewer just wanting to get her out of the office as soon as she mentioned her kids.  The really crappy part for her is, she is looking to work in the early education field and even these people are discriminating against her.  Imo lie away because once you get the job, they can't fire you because you have kids.  

Amber Peerboom Mosher

I wouldn't lie. If they can't accept the fact that I am a working mother, then that's on their shoulders, not mine. I am a proud mother and I will not lie about having a child. 

nonmember avatar Cori

Several years ago, prior to being at home mom, I opted to not disclose I had a child, I didn't lie I just didn't say one way or the other. Was later was informed that I would not have gotten a job had she known, she even stated she knew that was illegal. Now here I am with 7 children and considering a part time job and I would probably choose to do the same again, just not say one way or the other, sad but true.

MomIWant MomIWant

First of all, as a hiring manager, it is illegal for me to ask anything about your personal status - married, children, sexual orientation, religion, etc. Applying don't ask, don't tell should be held for ALL prospective employees, not just women.  You should be judged STRICTLY on your merits to perform. 


@the4mutts - the best explanation I have ever heard for a lapse in career was "I left my last job because I had other life issues which were taking priority.  At this time, I can be fully focused on my career path and have no concerns which would inhibit my ability to perform."  She got the job!

nv2507 nv2507

I didn't lie. But I sure as heck didn't offer up the information. When I got the job offer I asked for a little more time before I started to get my affairs together. On my first day I told them that I needed the time to find day care. I was transitioning back into the workplace after 6 months of being at home.

jalaz77 jalaz77

I wouldn't lie but like most I would not offer any unnecessary info that I have kids. No need to talk about my personal life to upper management unless it will affect my job.

ilanac13 ilanac13

i've omitted the fact in interviews because employers are looking for the folks that seem to be limiteless in the time they can put into working.  When you're up against so many people for a position (as is the case at least here in NYC) - i've found that you want to stack the cards in your favor and by admitting that you have kids that might some times take you away from work for any number of reason, that's an x against you.  Legally i'm sure that can't be the case, but you don't want to give any reason up front for someone else to get a job. 


I"ve always made it really clear though once i've gotten a position that yes, i may have kids and i'm willing to put in as much time as is needed for a role, i have a life and responsibilities outside of the office that at times come first.  it always works out..

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