{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "This may be a hot take - but as a younger person, working with parents of small kids (especially new parents) is so frustrating. I frequently find myself responsible for picking up the slack due to their family commitments - it’s also somehow completely socially acceptable for kids to barge into zoom meetings screaming. I wouldn’t find it nearly as bothersome if I felt like leadership and parent colleagues took my issues and non work commitments seriously in addition to that of parents and kids", "post_id": "61fbe347472554002bf1a86e", "reply_count": 284, "vote_count": 172, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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This may be a hot take - but as a younger person, working with parents of small kids (especially new parents) is so frustrating. I frequently find myself responsible for picking up the slack due to their family commitments - it’s also somehow completely socially acceptable for kids to barge into zoom meetings screaming. I wouldn’t find it nearly as bothersome if I felt like leadership and parent colleagues took my issues and non work commitments seriously in addition to that of parents and kids

likefunnysmartuplifting
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OP is rather short sighted on its view of the world. Having children and raising the future generation is no small task, and very difficult to balance between a professional career and being good parents, ESPECIALLY if both parents are working. Yet it is critical for our society to have loving, caring and PRESENT parents that will raise an emotionally mature next generation. Having kids interrupt your zoom meeting or you “pick up the slack” for your parent colleagues is a byproduct of our society pretending we can fit it all in, when in reality parents are just trying to get by each day hoping they won’t majorly screw up their parenting or their professional careers. Add to that un-empathetic people like you and it just makes it that much harder.

I agree that you shouldn’t need to “take the slack”, but until our cost structure of delivering professional services doesn’t “bake in” inefficiencies due to parenting, others will continue having to pick up the slack.

I see it a bit like having not having health insurance. There are negative externalities to parents having to pretend they can function like a single person that are felt by the children, colleagues and employers.

We need to redefine what productivity looks like for working parents, akin to redefining labor laws (I.e fire escapes, 8 hours working days) to invest into our future generation while not letting others feel the grunt of the work, but spreading it out more evenly.

likesmartfunnyuplifting

PM1 - Imbalance in expertise isn’t a good analogy. No one in that situation is “sacrificing” or reprioritizing their own activities.
Your second example is indicative of the exact problem and attitude that your childfree colleagues have an issue with. Good to know you took exactly zero from this discussion 👌

I am not sure if anyone here has ever read or signed a telework agreement. If you have ever worked for a federal contractor or the federal government, you’ll see this written: “telework is no substitute for child care”. Federal law doesn’t even call for work breaks. Work is continuous delivery and assumes robotic abilities. For years, we parents have made life and career decisions based on these policies and assumptions. As a manager, I had to remind my employees of these policies, which I did not write but was expected to enforce. COVID changed things for parents, but I don’t think anyone has rewritten those agreements yet. Customer delivery expectations have not changed. I see both points of views. But I also know that many parents have given up careers because they could not afford child care, and because their employers and their customers were not flexible. Being a parent is expensive, parental leave is a joke in a majority of companies, and American work culture is inherently biased against parenting. It took a pandemic to start a change, but we are not there yet. Again, I understand why someone would feel it’s unfair. But parents also work very hard. It is not true that they are rewarded for working less. And we are all lucky we can even work from home. Many can’t. But how about we level the playing field? The cost of child care is atrocious. This country has enough wealth to figure this out and make it easier for everyone to both live and make life.

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Thank you!! Somehow it’s socially acceptable to be gone at 5 to pick up kids, have dinner with your kids, etc but I can’t really say out loud that I have Pilates at 5 or want to cook dinner

likefunny

Yeah. And those of us at more senior levels earned our flexibility by busting our butts when we were associates and senior associates.

likefunny

I find it frustrating for different reasons. Whenever they have some unexpected family commitment, it’s seen as okay and accepted. When I have an unexpected commitment that doesn’t involve kids, it’s immediately dismissed.

likesmart

This!! 👏👏👏👏

There’s definitely an element of boundary-setting, but I think a lot of people here are overlooking things and oversimplifying. “Just say no” - how’s that gonna go for a 22 year old analyst hoping to make a good first impression? It’s more complex than that. And sorry, parents, hate to break it to you, but not everyone makes having children the center of their world. I’m happy to be flexible within reason, but you don’t just get to assume that I’ll pick up your work while you take care of the kids from 5-bedtime because your nanny left. I get that it’s hard, but it’s extremely disrespectful to your colleagues. I am adamant that my personal time is just as valuable as yours even if it isn’t occupied by childcare.

likesmarthelpfulfunny

OW2 why don’t you magically “get” a kid? Announce it and poof! You can get off at 5 yourself.

Let’s see what staffing does then.

funny

I agree with you OP. I think the solution is more parental leave + free national daycare.

likesmartfunny

Free national daycare? I for one hate the idea of the government educating the vast majority of kids, but then looking after them in all the rest of the time to? Golly

likefunny

I hear you. I personally hate that other people don’t prioritise me over themselves, their goals, lives and children

likefunny

There is always some leader with this attitude. I remember a story from a colleague years ago. He was a senior stuck in the office of a managing director. The senior’s wife had a complicated pregnancy and had an ultrasound that the senior needed to leave at a certain time to be there with her. He didn’t make the appointment. He was really upset and cited the situation as a reason when he left the firm. Sure, dick move from the managing director, but come on. We are adults. If you want to be there for whatever it is, get up and get on with your life.

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My perspective is that this whole WFH thing has made people much more accepting of all commitments and distractions. Dogs, cats, kids, roommates. People just expect them. Have a nonwork commitment mid-day? Fine, just make up the workload elsewhere I actually think the pandemic made this better balanced, honestly.

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I agree and think this is an improvement, but I might be spoiled. I’ve seen plenty of dogs, cats, kids, roommates, etc. — but people always try to minimize the disruption and distraction. I’d be a lot less understanding if someone’s on a call with kid or pet or construction noise in the background and not muting themselves.

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Word of the day: Empathy

likefunny

You have to show it to people without children as well. That’s the problem!

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I agree that we should have a more generous parental leave policy as a society. Glad you're on board with this, too!

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18 years of parental leave is unrealistic. And that’s the only what to mitigate the issues OP speaks too

likefunny

This screams 22 y/o analyst

likefunny

Yes! 😆

Sure, I mean raising a small human is really not as important and certainly not more important than other personal obligations.

likefunny

KF1 ok…I would venture to say the majority of people in consulting with kids made a decision to have children.

For those that didn’t - above need not apply. I never said I had no empathy. If you noticed, my comment was in response to P1. I never advocated for dismissal of the responsibility that is raising kids.

I always help my teammates out if they have kids. But P1 is suggesting that no one else’s commitments compare to having children (which they more than likely made the choice to have and if I didn’t my apologies)

Also who said anything about workers rights? You’re fabricating arguments no one’s even mentioned. I am a huge advocate for extending paid parental leave.

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As a parent of young children whose school has been closed due to Covid and extreme weather, trust me…we feel the same irritation you do about our children barging in on zoom calls or having to be on the road to pick them up during calls and meetings. We feel it in being seen as less professional and not carrying our weight. We already feel guilty for being stretched thin…it’s even worse when you’re a mother and the requirements tend to fall more heavily on you.

As someone above said, empathy is key…give your team members with young children grace because the roles could easily be reversed.

likesmart

Liberty Oilfield Services?? What theeee… who left the backdoor open??

Gosh!!! THANK YOU. I am literally on the end of my tether with this situation as well. My co-worker is constantly OOO due to the child being sick at home or my coworker catching something from the kid. And when I say constantly, I mean literally constantly!1!1!!!: there for four days, off sick for 2,5 weeks, there for two days, off sick for 1 week again. On the days she’s in, she only works until 5 pm. I just found out that she actually officially works full-time and is staffed on 100%. What am I doing then 300%?!?? There are absolutely no consequences whatsoever. I’d like a freaking private life too and I cannot cope with having such a disadvantage only bc I don’t have kids.

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SM3, yes we should all put in the same level of proofreading care to fishbowl posts as client deliverables 🙄

smarthelpful

Just don't help them if it's that much of an issue, refer to your other commitments.

You're annoyed by kids barging into Zoom meetings? Grow up.

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I have my son barge into meetings I know won’t go well. He’s saved my skin quite a few times. Kids have their uses. I did have a minor heart attack when he said “why did you call me in the middle of work” once but otherwise it does the intended job 😂

funny

The stuff you’re picking up the slack on doesn’t matter

Seriously, in five years, that proposal you worked on all night that didn’t win has no impact on your career

All those slides you worked on that got moved to the appendix just won’t matter

like

They are saying you can’t compare that powerpoint to raising our future - so if your kid turns out to be a 0, a junkie, life in prison, etc?
All was wasted ? Everything you’ve done until then doesn’t matter? 🤨

Man some of y'all are on some really shitty teams. Establish your boundaries early on any project.

Grew up in the firm.
- When I was single, 6pm and later was sacred to socialize and workout.
- While dating/married, sacred for spending time with my spouse.
- Now I have kids, same as before but for different reasons obviously.

ESTABLISH YOUR BOUNDARIES OR FIND A BETTER PROJECT!!! IT IS NOT HARD

likehelpful

Similar experience here. I find my boundaries to be just as respected now as a parent as they were when I wasn’t; i just find it easier to hold myself accountable to them now.

Actually the only team member who I felt imposed or inconvenienced the team with their “life choices” was a partner-less, kid-less Manager who was basically married to the job and legitimately did not seem to be able to tell time. Constantly kept teams late or had no consideration for boundaries, typically with no business reason at all.

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I don't know what OP is talking about. I have no care responsibilities, but others on my team have, and I have not found their efforts or output lacking at all. They may require a little flexibility around pickup/dropoffs, day care etc, but they have been just as productive as the rest of us over a week's time.

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lol a bunch of you need to get over yourselves. If you think that these parents are just taking it easy and having “a personal life” by taking care of their kids while also juggling deliverables then you’re not understanding and certainly incapable of sympathizing.

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I don’t think I could hire someone who couldn’t wear a breast pump, plate dinner and present to the GMC simultaneously.

likefunny

Not a hot take. Sounds like a you problem, you aren’t setting boundaries and prioritizing what is important to you. If you have a commitment, make it known and go for it. As someone else said, the “slack” you’re picking up I’m sure isn’t that important.

Of course it is socially acceptable in this era, we have been in a pandemic with no childcare or school for 2 years, what do you expect people to do?

Hope you don’t have to deal with this situation should you decide to have children in the future. Just in case you don’t, my children will be there to support your social security.

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@BCG2- You move on. Sorry but playing victim isn't going to help you. You are info on a shitty team/firm.

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As someone a bit older (close to 40 now) and without kids, OP is 99% correct. There is a “penalty” to pay to be child free. Not only do you never get weeks of leave for a personal decision but you have to continuously pickup the workload of those who do. Having children is a choice (most of the time) and I believe that one persons choices should not infringe on another person. We justify this by saying that having kids provides a societal benefit, which as it may, but still seems very non-equitable from the child free lens. I have many use cases over the years of people borderline abusing parental leave policies to have huge families.

likefunny

You’re playing with the same rule book bud. You want kids and leave, have kids and leave. You want no kids and no leave, do that. You want to take a long sabbatical because you have no dependents, well that’s an option.

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