If you have children I’m sure you know the look. It’s the combination sneer and eye rolling one occasionally receives when family matters bleed into the work environment.
I received the look a couple of weeks ago when I decided to leave work an hour early to make it back in time for my daughter’s talent show. I’m at the point now that I can easily brush off the look when it’s coming from coworkers, but this time it was different.
It’s a lot harder to ignore the look when it comes from your boss. Early in my career I sacrificed everything for my job assuming that my company would reward my dedication and loyalty. But I found out that it’s a one way street and I was headed down it the wrong way. I will say that my boss is much better than a few I’ve had who have zero tolerance for family related issues. He may not understand my ways, but he’s been quite tolerant of my occasional schedule changes.
I’ve called in sick to take care of a sick spouse or child. I’ve played hooky a few times when I felt like taking my kids to the park or a movie. I’ve shifted my work schedule in order to spend time my kids.
I know my refusal to put my work before my family may costs me promotions and plush assignments. But I’ve always got my work done on time and I never slough off work onto coworkers. That means I have to be creative in getting my assignments completed outside normal office hours. It means I don’t take 2 hour lunch breaks or numerous coffee breaks throughout the day.
Are they family friendly companies out there today that understand this and appreciate people who put family before work? If so, where are they?