I just attended a 1-hour video conference with an Executive Principal at my company, while cradling my newborn infant in my lap, at home, because we’re having a babysitter emergency today.
Yes, today I became that BBC dad.
Professor Robert Kelly and kids
And you know what? It turned out okay. We laughed about it, I made sure the baby was quiet, and we got things done. And I was so grateful for working with people who understand that work and life can’t always be 100% separate.
Not everyone is so lucky as me. While Prof. Kelly was able to laugh it off, people have been jailed because they left their children in the car while interviewing. Others have been shamed on social media, or fired, for bringing their kids to work at restaurants and stores.
So this is a request. To those who look down upon parents having to bring kids in to work: understand that this is not by choice. Understand that this is how we feel most days:
And to any parent tempted to leave their child in a bad situation because “it won’t fly at work” - try asking for permission to bring the kids along next time. If you’re in a bind, I would certainly see that as a sign of good judgment on your part. It’s also a sign that you feel there’s trust in the workplace. And the older I get, the more I want to work with fellow humans instead of corporate automatons chasing a daily productivity metric.
Bring your whole self to work. Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability. It’s what makes you unique.