Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Why Don't Men Get the Same Family Courtesy as Women in the Workplace?

     My husband has been helping me with my LinkedIn profile because I haven't really played around with it before and I may or may not be interested in getting a real job in the near future. One day, when I was asking him about something related to it, he stops me and asks, "Do you have any photos of me dressed up, by myself?" I told him that I had some of him dressed up, but it might have one of the kids in it. His response dumbfounded me.

     "I was listening or reading something the other day that said that employers are more likely to pass by your profile if you have a wife or child in that picture." I asked him why and this is what he said. "It's because they think that if you have a wife or child, that you will be a liability because you may take off more time to go to events pertaining to them."

      So that had me thinking: Don't we all work towards having the same amount of time off? Yes, you have to earn the time based on how long you've worked with a company, but it's pretty standard to start off with X amount of days of paid vacay and sick days. If a company didn't want you to use it, then why offer it in the first place? I know, by law, companies are supposed to offer something, although, don't quote me on that because I'm not actually sure.

     When I first graduated from college, I was two months pregnant with my first child. I truly believe that is the main reason why it took me so long to get hired on at a place full time. I was perhaps a little na├»ve mentioning to those who were interviewing me that I was pregnant, but I had thought it better to be honest than to surprise them so many months later when I would need maternity leave. However, in spite of that miscalculation on my end, I have worked with companies that had very good maternity leave and great benefits for mothers. At one place that I worked at, they understood that when my kids were sick and needed to be picked up or if there was a doctor appointment that needed to be made, I would be able to take off the amount of hours that I needed to or I could make them up by coming in early or leaving later than the work hours I normally worked. It was easy and there was no need to make a fuss over it.

      I understand that I was very blessed to have that job and the opportunity to work there and get those types of benefits, but there was something that I realized. My husband who worked at that same place wasn't quite as able to take those days or hours off. There was a different type of expectation for him. It was understandable if he needed to go to the doctor, but if it was for a child, it may not have been as welcomed.

      Maybe that was him trying to get out of taking the kids to the doctor and that what was ok for me was also for him or maybe it really wasn't, but I suspect that even if it was ok, that somewhere, somewhere else, there is a workplace who does roll their eyes when a man or even woman, asks for time off for their children and that is just sad!

     I don't want parents to take advantage of having children just for extra time off, but we live in a world now where not every home with children has a stay-at-home mom or dad that can just take their kids to the doctor or to practice or whatever event a kid might have. Even if there is a stay-at-home parent, sometimes those parents would like to be able to go to the doctor or other place or meeting without having to take a child with. I mean, c'mon, my child is going to be just as uncomfortable as I will be if they had to go to my woman's doctor. It's common sense that perhaps that father would take the kids for a few hours.

      So now, employers are giving moms the ability to have a more flexible work schedule- which is great, but they should give father's the same courtesy. Not only all of this, but women are more driven than they used to be and some even have more empowering careers and in order for them to move up, they need the help and support from their husbands in order to succeed.

      This is a different world that we're living in, so please, tell me why my husband can't have a child in his pictures?

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