Monday, January 31, 2011

Working-Parents in the Workplace

Do working parents get preferential treatment or are they actually at a disadvantage?
Do parent-employees get preferential treatment, and are they favored, or should they be concerned for their job?
It’s true that some employers will go out of their way to be understanding and flexible with employees who have children. The employer will adjust schedules, rearrange meetings and relieve the employee early, who has parenting duties.
But, it’s equally true that there are many employers who would not do this.
They would not see having children as a valid reason to rearrange schedules or give breaks to their employees.
I am lucky; I have the first mentioned employer.
I come into work after the kids are on the bus. I get out of work to pick them up so that they don’t have to stay in latch key very late. I can take half days to volunteer for holiday parties in the classroom and I am able to work from home on various projects if the kids are sick. I can also stay home on holidays and snow days.
I’m extremely appreciative of my present employer for her understanding because I’ve had the other type of employer. And as many working parents can probably relate, I feel more stressed and less productive at work, if they don’t understand my situation as a parent.
But I fully respect them both.
Why would I say this when I clearly need, and want, the flexible employer?
Because, I’ve also been the employer myself, and I know that it was sometimes difficult to work with parents only because it was unpredictable when their kids would get sick and they’d need to either call out of work or take a child to a doctor’s appointment.
On the other hand, I also knew that the parent-employee would work hard and sometimes even harder than a non-parent employee, because they understood sacrifice; also because of the money factor.
Are working parents favored or are they actually in danger of losing their job?
Because we all know, there are plenty of non-parent employees who would be grateful for a job and who would have no obstacles or limitations.
And trust me when I say that when our boss does us these favors, we don’t dance, we actually give a sigh of relief and try to work extra hard to make up for it…
Then we thank our lucky stars, because we know we are fortunate. And we just hope our boss feels the same, even though we aren’t there all the time.
Besides the bell, she has everything she needs at her service when she's sick.
Complete with Jello, Soup and Mom.

Ironically: I started writing this blog a couple of weeks ago and wasn’t prepared to finish it. But on Thursday of last week I had to stay home unexpectedly with my sick daughter, who had a horrible cough and a high fever.
It lasted for two days and on Friday my boss got someone else to do my jobs at the office, had me answer calls at home before and after our doctor’s appointment and I was still able to pick up my paycheck….
Thanks Boss.
My little girl is all better now.
See you all on Monday.  J

Truly,
Amber


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