Read the above article and tell me what you think. The main gist of the article is talking about an organization that is trying to convince more companies to allow babies to come to work with either the mother or the father until that baby is 9 months old. I have to say that my initial reaction to reading this is a pile of mixed emotions.
What a huge resource for mothers and fathers who are not allowed maternity/paternity leave to NOT loose their jobs but still be able to be with their baby for longer than recovery. There are so many jobs that I could see this being effective and working. I think it would better help build community child care which has pretty much disappeared. Think about your job now. Or a previous job you have had. Wouldn’t your relationships with your co-workers be stronger if you interacted with their children? How many times have you felt closer to someone just because they showed you pictures of their newborn? Now imagine if you could interact with that baby. What if you were to help hold the baby so the parent could slip out to use the restroom or attend an important meeting. What if it opened windows to people who want nothing to do with babies only for them to realize how quickly you can bond and love these precious gifts?
This idea is NOT suitable for ALL jobs. Can’t have them in the food industry without huge accidents, heath code violations, followed by lawsuits and so forth (and you know it would happen whether the claims were true, false, or exaggerated). I certainly wouldn’t be able to take my baby to work with me. My job is all about hard, physical labor. I can’t be lugging an infant around at the same time. I’m already lifting 40-60 pound rice bags. Or pulling runners. Or dodging getting run over by customers who are too busy thinking about what’s for dinner then who might be stocking the bottom shelf. Do I want them to hit my baby who would be on my back? Ummm… no thank you. And then, there are the obvious negatives. Babies are fussy. Babies need attention. Babies need feedings and diaper changes. Let’s do the math. Let’s say I work an 8 hour shift. It’s a good day and I only dock 2 hours off my day. Basing this off a 40 hour, 5 day work week… That’s leaving me 10 hours short of full-time. And that’s assuming that its a good day for the baby. What happens on the baby’s off day? Do you work 6 days a week, 10 hours a day? That’s LESS time to be home and do all the housework, cooking, laundry, errands, let alone have some just you time. And what if you have an incredibly fussy baby… or a spit up everywhere all the time baby… or exploding diaper baby. We all know that some babies are more work than others.
Xan’s opinion: “Do you want a baby or do you want to work. Because if you’re bringing your baby to work, you can’t really do either. What about everyone else that works with you? They’ve got their own things to do. It’s not fair to them to make them deal with your baby.“
I think this idea is fantastic for those who are on salary, don’t require hard, physical labor, and won’t interrupt teaching lectures or classrooms (babies in college level classrooms are inexcusable. I’m sorry. But they do not belong in a classroom.) That still leaves so many THOUSANDS of mothers and fathers who might benefit from this movement. And, there are accomadations that could be made for the list I made at the beginning of this paragraph. These companies could provide FREE child supervision ON SITE. Universities or public schools could offer day care for when teachers have class, giving them time to spend with their babies during their “freetime.” Restaurants and grocery stores could have a daycare where they can page the parents if their child needs them or the mom can nurse or cuddle during a break. Or maybe it would be great for the father to get a chance to take the baby for a day every now and again so that the stay-at-home mom who just gave birth can sleep for longer than 2 hours at one time. Or give some needed attention to the other children and then take a nap.
Having the mother (or in some cases the father) stay at home with their child is still the best option and the one that Xan and I plan and hope to employ. “If Mother is working outside of the home, see if there are ways to change that, even a little. It may be very difficult to change at the present time. But analyze carefully and be prayerful (see D&C 9:8–9). Then expect to have inspiration, which is revelation (see D&C 8:2–3). Expect intervention from power from beyond the veil to help you move, in due time, to what is best for your family.” full article here
Although, I think if I had to pick a side right now and not stay in this grey, both-sides-have-good-points area, I would have to say that I agree with Xan. I need to see more examples and hear more stories, ESPECIALLY stories from the non-parents in these workplaces and what THEIR opinions are before I can fully support this movement.
- Bringing Your Baby to Work (parenting.blogs.nytimes.com)
- New parents: Bring baby to work with you? (boston.com)