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Parents vs Steps: Taking time off work for kid stuff

Posted by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 12:05 PM
  • 48 Replies

I just finished listening to an interview on NPR w/ Diane Rehm and an author who was talking about women in business. 

When I was single, I often worked late or went in early or worked holidays because my colleagues had families at home.  It was no big deal for my Mom friends to take off at 3pm to get their kids to an activity.  

But, I found that once I was married with step kids, my (male) bosses didn't seem to think that me taking off early to get the kids to/from something was on par with my female colleagues who did the same for their bio kids.  Their response was usually "Why can't their parents take care of that?"

For discussion...do you think that step parents should be treated like parents in the workplace?  I realize that some jobs (like the one I have right now) do not afford ANY parent much flexibility.  But in the work places where flexibility to take your kids to an appointment, get them on a half day, etc are the norm, should SPs be included in that flexibility?


by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 12:05 PM
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Replies (1-10):
laughnchica
by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 12:16 PM
I don't have kids of my own but my job has given me a lot of flexibility when it comes to my DF's daughter when she had appointments and her dad was a deployment training. I think it is again situational with how much everyone is involved.
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Steamedpuddle30
by Hi, my name is... on Mar. 14, 2013 at 12:20 PM
I think so. I have been able to use a dr note when my SS was sick,so I'd assume if they let me use that,a step parent should be able to utilize time just like a bio parent. (If work allows) my work they do. And this SM was cray cray. BM was very involved:(
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needsupport100
by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 12:20 PM

in my company, their policy is the descression of the employee. we are all given the same amount of time. i can take off work for my nieces that i take off for my s/kids.

it's not my employers business WHY i'm leaving early. as long as it's approved and i have made the time up or have the time available. to use.

Steamedpuddle30
by Hi, my name is... on Mar. 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM
The boss does issue a good point but as we all know,it's not like that anymore. Absent or very lazy parents and such.

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momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Mar. 14, 2013 at 12:23 PM
My husband has dealt with this in regards to my son who he has adopted. My husband has an awful boss who spews at the mouth inappropriately. He couldn't believe my husband, a single man with no children, would want to marry someone with two young kids. Then as my husband started stepping up for my son and doing things a father would do, like dr appointments or staying home with daycare was closed, he would say, why can't your wife take off, they are her kids. It pissed my husband off. It doesn't matter why he is taking off. He has the time to take and shouldn't be given any shit for the reasons surrounding it. With that said, when you hire someone that has no children and they say they can be depended on bc they do not have responsibilities like children, then all of a sudden they are calling in because of children, I can see the frustration.

My husband ended up telling his boss, I've adopted this child. He is my child and I have a responsibility to him. If it isn't going to work then I need to know so that I can find employment that will allow me to be the father my son needs me to be. His boss hasn't said anything else about it since then.

My husband has never left work to take care of things for my daughter. I handle things when it comes to her. Or I ask her father to help out. When he can't help out I ask my parents or my sister.
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progressandjoy
by Silver Member on Mar. 14, 2013 at 12:25 PM

I do think they should be treated the same.

 

DH doesn’t have (and never had) much flexibility. How did he do it before me? He had an excellent babysitter. Before we got married we talked about what would happen in the event the babysitter moved on. I knew that I’d need to be the one that had the flexibility. DH is established in his job, and is paid well. I’m still working on starting my career (I’m still a student).

 

I actually quit a job because they wouldn’t give me any flexibility. The pay was wonderful (for a low wage service job) and I got plenty of hours, but in a full week I only saw SS for nine hours and DH for sixteen. When I asked ‘can I work a morning shift’ or ‘can I work less’ I was told no because so-and-so needed to work mornings and have every weekend off so they could spend time with their ‘real kids’.

casseopeia
by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 12:25 PM

It's probably not the step vs bio kids.  It's the effing economy and cut-throat business climate that we have now.  Your employer is just using the fact that they are not your natural children as an excuse.  

What do they do with adoptive parents?

LovingMy2x4
by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 12:25 PM

I think that all depends. I have 2 kids of my own, so a majority of my "personal time" has been reserved for them. But just recently, both BM and SO now have jobs where taking off is nearly impossible. If it were something my youngest SD, I would take off for her. She's still at that age and I would hate for her to not have anybody there. If it were an important doctors appointment, I would do that as well. I've left to pick them up from school sick before, but thats been the extent of it. 

Lucky for me, I work for my step-father :)

I dont think bosses should judge you for what you use your time for. If you have an extra day available and you want to use it to do something at your skids school, thats your business. 

leegirl_jm
by Ruby Member on Mar. 14, 2013 at 12:43 PM
2 moms liked this

This reminds me of the recent talk about actions taken by the Yahoo CEO and statements by the Facebook COO about mothers in the work place. I don't think parents/ stepparents should be accorded any special flexibility because they chose to have children, I think flexiblity should be allowed for all or none.

LovingMy2x4
by on Mar. 14, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Oh if you worked for my company you would hate my boss. But I do agree with you. I think all employees should get equal time off, and the bosses shouldnt question what the employee is using that time for. 

With that being said, I was hired under the conditions that I would work from home when needed and that my schedule would be very flexible so that I could be there for my kids. Not everyone at the company likes this, but this was the deal I made with my step-father when he hired me. Basically, I do what I want but I dont take advantage.

Quoting leegirl_jm:

This reminds me of the recent talk about actions taken by the Yahoo CEO and statements by the Facebook COO about mothers in the work place. I don't think parents/ stepparents should be accorded any special flexibility because they chose to have children, I think flexiblity should be allowed for all or none.


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