Friday, March 7, 2008

Working. Mother.

I work a flex-schedule at my job. Four ten-hour days, three weekdays and a weekend. Bear goes to daycare twice during the week, spends the other weekday with my mother-in-law and the weekend day I work with my husband. I try to work the same four days every week but occasionally meetings or whatever make it necessary to switch my days around. And for the almost two years Bear has been going to daycare it has never been an issue - until this week.

I called at the beginning of the week to switch Bear's daycare days around and they told me, "Well, we're scheduled to be full that day, but there's always a sick kid or two - just call in the morning to make sure." I never thought twice about it. Then I called, and THEY WERE FULL. Every SINGLE KID showed up to daycare that morning. I was a little shocked, as was the director, she promised to call if anyone went home sick. Not expecting daycare to be full, I was already on my way. Bear's bag was packed, I was dressed for work.

So I took her with me. We had to make a pit stop for diapers and wipes since I usually don't bring the diaper bag to work with me. And then on to my office we went. Bear played computer games while I did some paperwork. We got some breakfast in the cafeteria and bought an over-priced doll in the gift shop. I took her to the staff lounge on my floor, put the nurse's TV on PBS and started reading patient histories on the computer usually reserved for checking email and celebrity gossip during lunch breaks.

For a two-year old, Bear was amazingly well-behaved. She only once tried to "help" me do my work on the computer. She colored on some blank paper, played with the doll (really, worth every penny) and jumped on the couch a bit. The nurses shared their toast with her during break time and kept her well supplied with wet paper towels to clean the large coffee table in the break room. After lunch she helped me deliver a few things to different parts of the hospital and then daddy came and picked her up.

I interviewed my patients and wrote all my notes after she left. I loved having her with me and I did eventually get all my work done. And actually, a family member of one of my patients told me that they thought it was "wonderful" that I could bring my daughter with me - she wanted to know how often I got to do that (um, never).

Here's the problem - the patronizing looks from co-workers. The obnoxious remarks from one of my bosses. (Um, hello, I could have just called out. And I DID get all my work done.) And even though I wouldn't ever PLAN on having to bring her to work with me... I just, I wish the reception could have been better. I feel like by being both a responsible parent AND a responsible employee, I don't know, I feel like people now look at me the same way you look at a girl who wears a too-short skirt to work. Like I'm less of a professional because I'm also a mom. It's infuriating.

4 comments:

Alaina said...

{{{Applause}}} for you...

What's more important? Your little one or co-workers? Blah to them...

It is so hard to be a working mom...I am sorry you had to experience the "yucks" after what seemed to be a good day with Bear...

Take care.

Miss Me said...

kudos to you! you did the right thing.
as a working mom, we all know that the kids are way more important than the paycheck in the end, but sometimes both are important. your boss and coworkers should realize that you demonstrated that your job is important to you, and you've set a wonderful example for bear, too.

Lisa said...

AMEN! I can't say it any better than MissMe!

JustApril said...

Some people are morons. I think it's cool you were able to do that, and it's a further credit to you that she was so well behaved. There are plenty of people (probably some of your co-workers) who have children who would have been little hellians in the same situation. So be proud and let the ignorance of idiots roll off your back.