Friday, July 26, 2019

WIRTW #561 (the “don’t call me flaky” edition)

According to The Economist, dads face greater workplace penalties for taking parental leaves than do moms.
Americans see taking a break to care for children as a sign of lower commitment to work and even flakiness. … Whereas mothers who take time off to rear offspring face difficulties when returning to work, opt-out fathers may fare worse, says Scott Behson, author of a book called “The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home”. America has a workaholic culture, he says. Mothers who put their families first eschew that culture, resulting in costs to their careers. But fathers who do so are violating both the workaholic culture and traditional gender norms.

Here’s the thing. Just because I enjoy being a dad does not make me flaky. It just means that I enjoy being a dad. We all make choices in our lives. I’ve chosen to eat dinner with my kids, attend their school conferences and events, haul gear to their concerts, and work the merch table for Norah’s band. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a lawyer. But, when I die, I’d much prefer my tombstone reads, “He was a great dad,” not, “He was a great lawyer.”

I’m a dad active in my kids’ lives. Yet, it doesn’t mean I’m any less dedicated to my job. It’s not an either/or proposition. You can be a good parent and a good employee. They are not mutually exclusive. So please don’t judge the quality of my work based on my commitment to my family. And please don’t call me flaky.

Here’s what I read this week:


HR & Employee Relations


Wage & Hour