{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’m tired of my life being ruined because someone Senior to me has children. Because of your choice I now have to have night calls because you can’t have it during the late afternoon? This is ridiculous. I’ll never be able to date and have kids of my own this way", "post_id": "61f9da28034a39002b290eb8", "reply_count": 85, "vote_count": 74, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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I’m tired of my life being ruined because someone Senior to me has children. Because of your choice I now have to have night calls because you can’t have it during the late afternoon? This is ridiculous. I’ll never be able to date and have kids of my own this way

likefunnyhelpfulupliftingsmart
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As a working parent I learned that effectively setting boundaries is key to my success and sanity (and something that I think can benefit everyone).

Do you share calendars? I put the days I was responsible for daycare pick up (just as an example) on my calendar starting at 4:30. I didn't need to leave until 5 but this stopped people from scheduling meetings that interfered with my personal responsibilities.
I would recommend choosing one or two days that you're comfortable working at night or flex hours and leaving those open, otherwise block off time and be intentional about it. Your manager is incorporating life with work (what choice do we have these days) and you should be free to too. I'd also be direct and say "these are the hours I'm available. Please put something on my calendar. Otherwise I'll get back to you when I'm able" it's a totally reasonable expectation. If the manager can't accept that it seems like a bigger cultural issue. Sometimes people don't realize they're imposing until they're told

This. I have a kid and every Monday and Friday I get him from school and everyone knows I have a hard stop at 5. I tell them I can sign on later and do my part and we can meet in AM. But t-thurs, they know I’m available a bit later in evening. But still stop at 630-730 to spend time with my kid no one has ever given me a hard time. Same thing before kids- would say I have a hard stop at xyz. Never questioned.

When I was a mid-level consultant, I worked with a partner who was a hardcore morning person. If we needed to talk, I pretty much knew I’d be having some 6 AM calls on my calendar. He knew full well that I wasn’t a fan of the early AM discussions but once business hours started, he wasn’t going to be available… so I had to suck it up. That’s life. My best solution was to be good enough at the work that those calls weren’t required terribly often.

For better or worse, one of the benefits of seniority is that you can to a degree make people bend to your availability. That’s just the reality whether or not you choose to rage against it. I try to be flexible to my teams’ preferences, but they all know that they aren’t going to get access to me between 6 and 8 PM or between 6:45 and 7:45 AM. If you don’t want to talk with me at 10 PM or at 6 AM, your best solution is for us to be delivering well enough that we don’t need to have conversations at those hours. Can’t eliminate them entirely, but my strongest teams have fewer such discussions.

likehelpfulfunny

I mean, I could go by your reaction here or I can go by a decade of upward feedback and my persistent ability to get great people to join my team when trying to determine if I’m a good leader.

I’m exceedingly transparent about my ways of working. That includes style; things I care about; strengths; weaknesses, and logistical / operational matters. Making people bend to my availability is a fact of life because I’m not going to blow off my kids’ bedtime when the analyst would prefer to talk at 7:00 instead of 8:00. Doesn’t make me a good leader or a bad leader. It’s just a reality. I consider it my obligation to seek flexibility outside of my own red lines and to show genuine appreciation when my needs impose on the preferences of others.

I find that most people accept all this and appreciate enough of what I do that they like working for me. At least, that’s what the data suggest. But if that sounds unacceptably selfish to you, it is for the best that you work elsewhere.

funny
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Just say no.

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Thanks A4

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You’re life is being “ruined” because you aren’t setting boundaries. Nothing to do with your co-worker having children. I’ve never once run into this problem and work with plenty of parents.

likesmarthelpfulfunny

Yeah agreed but you can’t control what other people do. You can only control your own actions and set your own boundaries. And BAH2, it’s definitely not the norm but when someone does something like this you are responsible for setting your own boundaries and communicating them.

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There’s a fine line between being understandably accommodating for people struggling to balance work and child care, and having it impact your wellbeing. I’m totally happy to move a meeting or block some time if you have obligations, but if I’m consistently working late because you can’t give me feedback until you put the kids to bed at 9 or 10, and expect me to wait for you, then we have a problem. I’ve also found that many managers like to assume that time they are using for child care should be work time for everyone else. If you need 2 hours in the evening with your kids, fine, but don’t expect me to work on slides that whole time and not take my own break to work out, rest, etc. In my opinion, having kids doesn’t give you the right to more time away from work than me.

Many of the responses above are a little harsh, but you do have to be up front about setting those boundaries. Your boundaries are just as important as theirs are.

likesmarthelpful

A2, I feel you. I have personal travel that’s been delayed and rescheduled multiple times since 2020. Now it appears these events are finally going to happen in 2022, and clients who think it’s no big deal asking me to skip them to accommodate their needs.

Nope, sorry, these are concert tickets - I won’t get a refund if I can’t go, and my friend wouldn’t go alone. I’ll rearrange my flight times if I have to, but my personal time is mine and no one else gets to tell me their needs supersede mine.

Can't wait for you to have kids and be on the other side. Keep me posted.

likefunny

It isn’t “a compromised solution” when 7 people are attending a late night call because one person can’t handle their personal responsibilities.

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Talk about over-dramatization

likefunny

🎻

funnylike

Sounds like you need give your team member more grace or consider morning meetings

funnylike

OP you should comfortable setting boundaries if you think this is a recurring issue. You are allowed to also have a life. Take it up with the Partner on the engagement in an open and polite manner if speaking with the colleague(s) causing the issue can’t resolve…which means not using the tone and words you used on your post :)

I’m childless so empathize with your situation but it’s a two way street. Everyone needs to set boundaries in this profession.

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VP1 - why is it wrong? It’s natural and logical- u can’t have the cake and eat it too. While I am supporting OP to draw boundaries, that does mean he will be less preferred by that manager for another gig/promotion support. Needs to be fair to OPs peer who is probably being more flexible, doesn’t complain and supports the manager when he needs it.

New parent here and also a manager. I see both sides. My kid literally cannot take care of himself and he can’t feed himself or not be watched. Like it’s not a possibility. So no I cannot take meetings for the two hours he’s home from daycare before bed. Not possible.

However, I don’t expect people to wait for me to get back I manage my schedule so that’s not a problem. Sometimes I say hey I may look at some stuff around 8 pm no need to respond until tomorrow. It would be rare occasions that I’d need someone to come back later to meet (urgent client request) but I hope they’d be understanding and accommodate. Just as I did for parents for kids before me. And like I’d do for people without kids if they had something I needed to accommodate.

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I think I've found the baby

funnylike

I’m relatively Junior, but have a kid. And I set a recurring meeting everyday from 4:30pm -7:30pm. I work after I put my son down as needed. I set the boundaries because I need to. I also wouldn’t ever expect anyone to work after 7:30 or answer my emails if i send them late. Likewise, you can set your own boundaries. Step 1 is to talk with your Senior and explain the situation that you need that time for yourself and see if you can move the calls to a different time. Step 2 is to go higher if the Senior doesn’t address your concerns. WLB is real and every firm at least says they care about it.

likefunnysmart

Same here on the scheduling. I block off 4:45 through 8:30 as a recurring private time. No issues so far.

I agree, why can’t they take meetings during normal hours like everyone else

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Seriously

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Pls fix. Thx.

likesmart

Literally just say you also have kids

likefunny

This could backfire haha I had an associate once lie about having a dog that had all sorts of health problems and they slipped up one day in a team meeting 😬

As others have said OP, you have to set your boundaries and learn to say no. Take this as a learning lesson - there are a lot of people out there who first gauge how easy it is to exploit you then start walking all over you. Not all of them will approach it with the kids card.

Btw, be careful with your tone. It sounds like your frustration is reasonable but by framing it as "your choice to have kids" , etc. you end up alienating many of the same people who would have had your back.

If all else fails, a friend of mine has been lying about having kids for 7 years now for declining unreasonable requests. May or may not work depending on your work situation 🤷‍♂️.

funnylike

Funny, I have children and REGULARLY work late to meet deadlines set by Seniors who don’t have children. 🤷🏻‍♀️

likefunny

Pro career strat.

likefunny

OP, rather than blame others for your predicament why don't you solve for how you got here in the first place and then create a plan to get out? I bet in 10 minutes you could retrace your steps and figure out where you could have made different choices. No time like the present to fix this!

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This but the alternative - they don’t have social plans in the evening so are fine doing work on Friday evenings or having meetings late at night vs during day.

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