Would You Bring Your Child to Work?
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Many of us have participated in Take Your Child To Work Day (formerly known as Take Your Daughter To Work Day). But what if you could--or had to--bring your child to work with you everyday? For more and more parents these days, that seemingly bizarre option is becoming a reality (and these folks don't work at daycare centers). Alternate work arrangements traditionally focus on balancing work and life responsibilities by allowing a parent to, say, work from home one day a week to handle childcare. In this instance, though, the balance is being achieved on the job, at the job, with the little ones in tow. Often, that occurs during what would normally be a maternity leave. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows for an employee to take off up to 12 weeks unpaid and retain their position or a similar one. Since these days it's nearly impossible to go three months without pay, a lot of new moms are opting out of traditional maternity leave and bringing baby with them to work.
The pros? The organization doesn't lose a valuable member of the team for three months, and the new mom gets to bond with her baby as well as enjoy a more convenient (less pumping!) breastfeeding schedule. The downside? Well, let's face it--kids can be even more demanding and noisy than coworkers, and they can distract you even when they're on their best behavior. I am sure there are some children who are the perfect type to bring to work. My son, for example, would not be one of those. I would spend more time trying to get him to stop climbing the office furniture than anything.
Still, with the economy continuing to tank and daycare being so very, very expensive, perhaps taking a child to work is a better financial decision. This is also not to mention that, as the primary care giver to the child, you know whether or not your kid ate his peas, took her nap, etc. Some of us feel like we only work in order to pay for daycare, so I can see this option as a viable alternative if the company is willing. My guess is that most, however, are not.
What is your experience with this? Outside of the occasional need to bring baby to the office because of a holiday or school closing, would your boss let you bring your child to work?