What’s more mandorable than Justin Trudeau cuddling pandas?
Why Adam LaRoche quitting over quality time with his son, of course.
What a great dad, the world mewed, when the first baseman tweeted #FamilyFirst after quitting because his bosses wanted to see less of his son at work.
LaRoche brought his 14-year-old son, Drake, to work. Constantly. The kid even had his own locker at spring training. The White Sox called Drake their 26th man. It was the same when LaRoche was with the Washington Nationals.
America loved seeing this dedicated father.
But let’s be honest. LaRoche holds a rarefied position as a star baseball player. There’s no way the average worker could pull this off, and certainly not a woman.
Let’s say a dedicated mom brought her daughter to work with her every day. And she had a little desk next to mom’s. And she’s at every meeting, every conference, on every single call.
Would folks question mom’s commitment to the company? Her career? Would her co-workers go “awwww” and say they love having little Sally around all the time?
It’s totally awesome that LaRoche wants to spend so much time with his son.
The full-throated, public involvement of men in their children’s lives is one of the most crucial bricks in the path to true gender parity. When high-profile men like LaRoche or Bill Gates talk about their fair share of child-care duty, the trickle-down effect is immeasurable.
Just look at how LaRoche’s teammates and much of America rallied behind him when he quit, citing #FamilyFirst as the reason.
But where was all this #FamilyFirst gushing for Qwedra Evans? She was the manager of a Flint, Mich., Check ’N Go, a solid employee for 11 years, when she was fired in front of her 11-year-old daughter whom she brought to the office for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day in 2010?
Parents — primarily women, but it happens to men, too — have been struggling with the #FamilyFirst balance for generations.
A Washington Post poll last year showed that nearly three-quarters of women and half of men have had to scale back at work because of child-care issues.
Women have been fired, disciplined, held back, forced to quit and even arrested for the difficult choices they’ve had to make when it comes to kids and work.
Remember South Carolina mom Debra Harrell, who was arrested in 2014 when she let her 9-year-old play in a park while she pulled her shift at McDonald’s?
Or Shanesha Taylor, who was homeless and trying to get a job, but was arrested in 2014 for leaving her two young children in the car for 69 minutes while she was interviewed for a job at a Scottsdale, Ariz., insurance agency?
Or how about the 41 percent of working mothers who told the Pew Research Center last year that child-care duties have stalled their chances for advancement at work?
There are few people who welcome spring as much as parents who have spent a winter fearing snow days, sick days and the dilemma of children at home or work.
A recent study found that 1 in 3 parents fear losing their job because of a sick child, according to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich.
“The presence of children in the workplace with the employee parent during the employee’s workday is inappropriate and is to be avoided except in emergency situations,” the Society for Human Resource Management said in a 2014 report on children in the workplace.
Sure, there is a small movement making work more kid-friendly.
About 200 American companies have policies allowing infants in the office, according to the Parenting in the Workplace Institute.
They snooze in rockers by mom’s desk, cuddle in slings and nurse, bridging that infant gap when babies are too small for most day-care centers and parents don’t have the luxury to take extended parental leaves.
These open-minded solutions are primo, but limited to a specific socioeconomic class and only work when kids aren’t mobile.
Most people who wrestle with children-at-work issues do it for straight-up survival, not to form an unusually close bond with a child.
Read “One Sick Child Away From Being Fired,” a review by UC Hastings Law professor Joan C. Williams of 99 union arbitration cases that show “how work and family responsibilities clash in the lives of bus drivers, telephone workers, construction linemen, nurses aides, carpenters, welders, janitors, and others— men as well as women — in working-class jobs.”
In other words, people who don’t have the option of opting out, or walking out on a $13 million contract, a la LaRoche.
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