She Brought Baby to Work. Part 4
Is there a separate place in the office where the children hang out? Do they play together?
The kids who come to work regularly are all babies/toddlers. Usually they stay near their moms, but they hang out together too. There’s some socialization benefit on the job! I bring toys with me, but people here also buy her little trinkets at Good Will, and various toys find their way around the office. Here and there you might spot a Barney bank on top of a bookshelf, clapping hands on the conference table, balls in the corner. I’ll forget her juice cup from home and feel fairly confident that I can find one at work!
Do you watch your daughter at work exclusively, or do co-workers share parenting responsibilities?
I don’t expect my staff to watch Emma; that’s not their job. I’m their supervisor and would never ask them to do that. The exception would be once or twice where I had to run and do something and asked them to cover for 3 or 4 minutes. If I asked for more, I don’t think anyone would resent it, but it’s a personal ethic of mine. I want to make it as easy on everyone else as possible because bringing her to work is a privilege and I don’t want to lose it.
What have the advantages been to your daughter?
I believe it’s made her very secure. If I’m going to work without her, she’s able to imagine me there and knows what the routine is; she knows that if she really needs me I will come home or she will be brought to me. She doesn’t cry when I leave her with the sitter; she calls out, “Mama work, bye-bye!” There’s rarely any separation anxiety. It’s neat that she’s been exposed to so many different people, too. The residents have problems, but they’re all great kids whom she’s had the opportunity to meet.
What other kinds of jobs/office environments do you think could handle parents bringing children to work?
It would be too disruptive to bring a child if you were a typist or receptionist, where you have to answer the phone and get interrupted a lot. But I think companies could do a lot more, like having daycare on site. I know that’s not reasonable, but that’s the way I feel. It’s so important for our children to have access to us. Part of the reason why parents are not as effective at their jobs is that they’re worried about their families and trying to juggle. What are they supposed to do if their kid is sick, but they’re not allowed to use sick days for family emergencies? That creates resentment. If people had flextime, or could take sick days when their kids were sick, I bet companies would be better off in the long run.
Purchasing cheap telephone cards it is a convenient, low cost and reliable way for long distance, global phone calls for millions of individuals all over the earth.