July 20, 2012

Bringing Baby to Work?

Last week there was an emergency at day care and I had to pick up my daughter unexpectedly. With it being only 11:00 a.m. I still had a ton of work to do, and honestly, felt guilty about heading out so early in the day. Knowing I’d be taking a half day of vacation anyways, I brought her back to the office to finish a few things up before heading home.

My colleagues, whom I adore for this reason and many, had set up my office to be a mini playroom. It helps that I work for an educational child care company – our corporate office has lots of toys and games sent by our vendors. Dolls, bean bags, balls and markers were strategically positioned all over my office—my daughter couldn’t take two steps without running into a new activity.

After an hour, I wanted to scream in frustration. I could barely accomplish any work without her climbing on me, trying to type on my keyboard at the same time as me, opening and closing the office door or running down the halls. None of which was her fault; that’s what toddlers do. So when I read this article about a U.K. company, Addison Lee, instituting a policy on “bring your child to work every day” I about fell over. Part of me wanted to congratulate them on their family friendly atmosphere and policy, but I couldn’t stop shuttering from my own similar experience.  

For me, parenting and work don’t mix in the same environment. Though the money saved in day care each month would be enormous and the ability to see her every hour is tempting, I feel I’m unable to give 100% to my daughter or to my job while trying to combine the two.

What about you? Could you work in an office (home or no) while watching your toddler?

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