Monday, April 16, 2018

Bringing Kids At Work

It is always a mother's concern on where to leave their kids while they need to do some adult stuff like doing groceries, doing errands, and even going to work.  Mothers always have a hard time being away from their children and they would often check on them if they are okay or not.  Mothers even sacrifice their me-time because they need to attend to their children's needs first.  Worse comes to worst, when mothers are tied up with the responsibility of taking care of their kids and no help is available, they have no choice but to tag along their children with them at work, at doing errands, among others.

We have seen a lot of viral photos on social media about women bring their children at work.  One famous photo is of Licia Ronzulli, an Italian MEP at European Parliament, bringing her 6-week old daughter Vitorria at work.  Licia Ronzulli is known for her advocacy on women's rights.  She took advantage of the relaxed rules that allow women to take their baby to work with them.  

We also have seen a lot of movies with mothers bring their children at work.  One movie is Erin Brockovich.  Erin (played by Julia Roberts) brought her three kids with her while she is doing field work.

The difficulty of taking care of children while earning for the family is real.  It happens not only in first world countries but also in developing countries like the Philippines.

Some families are lucky enough to have someone to look after their children while mothers are away from home.  It may be a nanny, a relative, or in-laws.  Some mothers leave their children at play areas for few hours to do some errands or even take the opportunity of doing these things while children are at school.  But there are really instances when mothers are left with no choice but to bring along their children with them even if by theory, children aren't allowed on those places.

It has always been an issue and a point of criticism to those mothers who tag along their children in their work.  Some people would immediately judge the mother who brought along their children at work without really knowing the reason first.  Some would even point out unprofessionalism.  Some would even give unsolicited advice to the concerned mother. 

Yes, I always bring along my son with me wherever I go, whether it may be doing errands, attending meetings, or doing my job.  I am a single mom and no one will look after my son at home.  I don't want to hire a nanny because I have heard lots of horror stories about nannies.  It is by choice that I want to be hands-on to my son.  I decided to work from home and to homeschool him so that I would be able to monitor him and see him grow.  I have already written on my previous blog on how difficult it is to live in a single parent home and everyday, it's a struggle for me to balance being a mom and being a worker.  There are instances that our schedules are conflicting and I have to find someone who will pitch in for me to attend to my son's needs, and as soon as I am done from my own appointment, I go and catch up at my son's appointment.


While I am on camera during my TV guesting at PTV-4


 I have also asked several mothers for their reasons on why they bring along their children at times when they work:

1.  They are exclusively breastfeeding.  Mothers who exclusively breastfeed their children have difficulty leaving their babies for few hours because of the erratic feeding schedule of their babies.  There are some mothers who prefer direct latching over expressed milk because they do not want nipple confusion of their babies. 

2.  There is no one to look after their children while they need to be away for few hours.  Now that hiring a nanny becomes difficult these days, mothers are having a hard time leaving their children at home without any adult supervision.  Sometimes, we can ask help from relatives, but of course they also have their own lives to live so if they have something to do, we cannot force them to put it aside for the sake of looking after your children.  

3.  Child is sick and tends to be clingy.  It's a general rule that children should stay at home when they are sick but there are some cases the mothers have no choice but to bring along their sick children with them because they do not want to be taken cared by any other person but the mother only.  

4.  There is a conflict in schedule.  Sometimes the mother finds it impractical to go to and fro just to make ends meet.  Now that the roads are congested, it is more practical to bring along the child with her and attend to another appointment right after work.

5.  Safety is at risk.  Now that we hear a lot of stories about kidnapping, mothers are more vigilant in keeping an eye to their children.  

It's a general rule that the concerned mother should ask permission first before bringing her child at work.  But there are times that it is already a hidden rule especially if the request has already been done on the first instance that she brought along her kid with her. 

With this, do you think the mother who brings along a child at work is unprofessional, disrespectful, and abusive?

Some people will say yes because the office is not a place for children.  Some will say it depends if the mother is doing her job without any lapses and continues to deliver quality output.  Some will say no because the mother is not doing it all the time and only brings kid at work due to some unavoidable circumstances.

Sadly, it is easy for others to judge the mother who brings her child at work and see the child as a nuisance in the workplace.  Most of the time those who judge are those who have extra help at home, single, and whose kids are old enough to be independent.  

Now, what is my point here?

This is just a gentle reminder not to easily judge these mothers who bring their kids at work.  We really don't know the real situation or the arrangement the mother did to allow their kids at work.  As long as the mother delivers at work, I guess there is no problem about it and as long as the mother ensures that her child doesn't disrupt the workplace.  

Let us all be encouraging and supportive to the mother who brings along her child at work.  She might just be quiet, but in reality she really needs help.  


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