Holiday weekends are for catching up on celebrity gossip — or so I thought until I saw an article about parents in North Dakota who are allowed to take their babies to work (as described in the latest edition of People Magazine).
Oh crap, I thought, it’s bad enough to endure high school internships and TYCTW events. Now there are babies in the cubicles?! Good god.
Maybe I’m clueless, but I assume that people go to work to avoid their kids. You spend 18 hours a day with your monsters — why would you invite that kind of chaos into the workforce?
I am, however, somewhat sympathetic to working parents who struggle to find qualified and affordable childcare providers. I know it’s tough to find a decent human being who won’t beat your children or let them eat yummy, lead-based paint chips for lunch; however, I’m not sure that parenting in the workforce is the thoughtful and comprehensive solution that’s needed for America’s workers.
Moreover, your workplace is a haven of germs & viruses. Your coworkers are gross and never wash their hands. The surfaces in your office are rarely (if ever) cleaned & disinfected properly. Do you want to exposure your kids to e.coli and salmonella via the community food table?
Also, what about respecting people who come to work and choose not to have children? How do you accommodate their needs? Where do you toss the dirty diapers? What do you do with a colicky baby? What about children with colds and the flu?
It’s bad enough that I catch your kid’s back-to-school cold, every September. Now I have to smell your new baby’s stinky poops?!
Dudz, let’s keep the babies at home with Baby Einstein toys and lots of television. That’s where they belong (and that’s where they are comfortable & safe). If you have childcare issues, please advocate for common-sense solutions such as telecommuniting, increased parental leave, thoughtful expansion of FMLA, more access to dependent care FSA programs, and better access to Head Start programs. Those are a win/win solutions for employers and your fellow employees.
Please, I beg you, keep the babies at home — or I’m going to demand equal access and bring my five cats to work!