Taking Kids to Work - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-30-2005, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I work for a very parent-friendly organization. I've always been free to bring my kids to work, provided I can get my job done. As the head of HR I've made sure that others know that they too can bring their kids to work, especially new moms. We dont' have a policy - I'm not a fan of policies, make a rule and it *will* be broken ;-)
I've always made sure that pregnant women know that I will arrange for them get a pumping space if they don't have an office as well as provide btdt answers to questions (i pumped for my son for 18m - mr i hate solid food!...who knows how long ds will want emm - and I went through the process to be a LLLL but got a promotion and didn't have time to actually finish). I'm not pushy, I just let them know that I'm there for them.

Here's my question. Why am I the only one who takes advantage of this!?! This is such a wonderful benefit, I'm baffled, and have been for years!
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Old 03-31-2005, 04:44 PM
 
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I'm surprised more parents don't take advantage of this! I brought my daughter part time for 18 months, but had little support from my employers. They were tolerant and knew that I would probably quit if I was "forbidden" to bring dd. They had originally told me I could bring her when I found out I was pregnant, then at 8 months, decided to tell me I couldn't bring her after all. After a few tearful meetings, they finally agreed we could try it.

Luckily my daughter was not a screamer or super high needs and was content to hang out at my desk (we don't even have cubicles). I did have to pump in the bathroom when she wasn't with me (ugh).

There must be some kind of subconscious stigma about bringing kids, like it is less professional? Or "I'm here to work" attitude? It is hard to be a mama and an employee at the same exact time; requires prioritizing and juggling tasks. Too much trouble to deal with?

Keep an open dialogue going with the parents, maybe once someone does it, others will follow? I recommend it to everyone I know - it worked out great for us!

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Old 03-31-2005, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by cyncyn

There must be some kind of subconscious stigma about bringing kids, like it is less professional? Or "I'm here to work" attitude? It is hard to be a mama and an employee at the same exact time; requires prioritizing and juggling tasks. Too much trouble to deal with?

I think you have a point there, especially about the stigma of it being somehow less professional. It's not easy to take care of a baby while getting work done but personally I find that I get more done on days when Bella is with me - I think I'm more focused those days.
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Old 03-31-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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I've been doing it since ds was born. I'm a researcher, and have my own office, so it's a good situation. My son does stay with dh sometimes, if I have a big meeting or something like that, but I also use the sling to bring him to some meetings or to run errands, etc.

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Old 03-31-2005, 08:48 PM
 
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CAN I COME TO WORK FOR YOU?

I will be more than happy to take advantage of what you're offering. Being a part time librarian, it's a little difficult to bring a new one to work. So many people come expecting things to be like it was when they were growing up -- quiet and solitary, even in the Children's Room in some cases! : Very few librarians I work with have children, and of those who do, we all seem to have the same battle with being a professional versus being a parent. I agree with cyncyn about the impression that kids at work is automatically viewed as less professional. It drives me s though since I work with parents who get to bring their children to the library for storytimes and programs, but mine are with their sitter... One point I wanted to make for my profession, and here I'm speaking strictly about public libraries, is that it's commonly viewed as a "female-dominated" profession, despite the rise of male librarians. With that, seems to come an innate need to prove that we are as professional as any other similar or coporate organization that requires a master's degree. However, people's impression still range from the older woman with glasses and a bun sterotype to "I thought all you do is help people look for books and answer the phone..." I'm not sure if this applies to your organization, nor am I saying it does. But in general, I do know this kind of thinking does exist.

As for getting more new parents to take advantage of what you're offering, how do you go about informing them? Is it a one-on-one kind of thing, do you give them a flyer? Perhaps they are leery because it is not an official policy and don't want to get into trouble. For some, it could just be they work better being separated from their child(-ren). For me, having a babe at work in the beginning would be fine, but my high spirited toddler would never let me get anything done.
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Old 04-01-2005, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by heket

As for getting more new parents to take advantage of what you're offering, how do you go about informing them? Is it a one-on-one kind of thing, do you give them a flyer? Perhaps they are leery because it is not an official policy and don't want to get into trouble. For some, it could just be they work better being separated from their child(-ren). For me, having a babe at work in the beginning would be fine, but my high spirited toddler would never let me get anything done.

It's pretty much a one on one thing as well as me being visible with my baby. Since I'm HR and a mama who loves babies, I talk to everyone quite a lot before the baby is born. Last summer I had a couple of pregnant gals find out that I cloth diaper and we had a Cloth Diapering 101 meeting LOL! It ended up being quite the event.
I can totally relate to the toddler issue. I stopped bringing Bilal in around age 2 1/2 or 3, when he decided the stuff outside my office was better than the stuff in my office LOL! I work in a Museum so.....

We did have one woman who brought her baby in a lot but was asked by her manager to cut back after others had complained that she was asking too much of them (baby sitting while she was in meetings and such). This is a perfect reason why I don't want to create a policy but keep it a loose practice so that we can address each situation individually. That mgr is in now way turned off to babies at work. I actually had a meeting with her a week or so ago and she insisted on holding Bella the entire time.

I'll keep on keepin on though :-)
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Old 04-01-2005, 12:39 AM
 
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I was so glad to see the article in Mothering magazine about bringing babies to work (Jan/Feb?). I wish more mothers in the workplace had this opportunity.

I take my daughter with me when I teach out of town. I teach Suzuki violin lessons at my SIL's Music Institute on Wednesdays. Dd and I leave at about 1:00 PM, and get home at 9:00 or 9:30. My SIL is very supportive. When I was on maternity leave, SIL told me that however I wanted to arrange my teaching day would be fine with her.

When I contacted my students at the end of my leave, I told them that Lila would be coming with me. I did move one student to another teacher. He has extreme concentration issues (childhood onset bipolar). He needed a teacher who could give him undivided attention. And I had a hard enough time protecting my instruments during his lessons - I knew that I would worry about dd's safety.

Another 4 year old's lesson presents challenges, too. He goes to all-day Montessori, and comes to his lesson tired. He needs my help to stay focused, and we have a hard time when Lila fusses. His lesson falls right in the middle of our day, and Lila's getting tired by then.

I've tried several things to keep her happy. The surprise solution came from the previous lesson. I teach 4 siblings, and the 5 year old daughter LOVES Lila. She stays with me for most of her brothers' lessons and plays with Lila.

Dd is an easygoing baby, and she loves music. Even though our day is long, she seems to enjoy being there during the lessons. My students are used to me nursing her while I teach. On the days that Lila does stay home, my students and their parents ask about her.

When I first started taking her with me, I thought that she would only go for a few months. But as long as it's still working, I'll bring her along.
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