Playing the Mommy Card at Work

Working full time and being the mother of a five year old boy, the question of pulling the mommy card at work has come up, and more than once. When I realized that I had to go back to work after Damion was born I was very up front with the people that I interviewed with. They all understood that I had a child, and that there was going to be times I simply couldn’t stay late, or be there at all.

I reassured them that having a child would not interfere with me doing my job, and that I am a very dependable person to hire. They were okay with that at first. I got a pretty sweet deal. I only would work the night shifts, so I didn’t have to pay for a sitter, and I refused to work holidays. I picked those very carefully, meaning that no, I don’t stay home because it’s Veterans Day, but I will not work Christmas Day.

This was all right during my first year there. Then we hired a few more people, and that’s when the problems began. Everyone wants to be home with their families on Christmas, and I was told once by a co-worker that I shouldn’t be given the day off simply because I have kids and she don’t. She stated that she may not have kids, but she does have family. I told her that I understood that, but my seniority proves to useful here. I all ready pulled my weight and proved my iron I should say. I felt it was someone else’s turn at the helm on Christmas and Thanksgiving for that matter.

As parents, there are going to be things that come up, that we simply cannot prepare ahead of time for. When your child is sick for example, or maybe you have a little trouble maker on your hands and you get a call from the principle wanting to see you in their office. In these cases, I think companies should be more than willing to help us out. If we are willing to pay the price later on. I will take a day off if need be, but then I will put it out there that I am willing to cover someone’s shift who may need it next time. Or I will be willing to work a couple of hours later. It should be a give and take thing between the boss and yourself.

Here are a couple of ideas where playing the mommy card is okay, and some that well, you should just quit if that’s how your gonna be about it:

*Your child is home sick. I don’t mean with a slight sniffle every twenty minutes or so, but really sick. You have taken his/her temperature a couple of times and they didn’t sleep good the night before. Maybe they are throwing up, and they just can’t go to the sitters that way or to school. This is a mommy card moment ladies, so call up your boss and explain the situation.

When you call make it clear that you will be making a doctors appointment and will be willing to bring a note from your child’s doctor. Ease their pain by making yourself available through out the day also. Let them know if they need you, they can reach you at home. This will take care of most doubts that you are just playing hooky.

*The school calls. If you are all ready at work and the phone rings, and it’s your child’s school saying that your child got into trouble and has to go home, this is also a mommy card moment. I am not talking about your child calling and saying that he wants to come home, maybe there is a test that day? But some reason that he/she cannot stay at school any longer and you cannot find anyone else to handle this situation for you.

Do not email your boss to ask if you can leave early. Talk to them in person, eye to eye. Explain that your child got into trouble and you need to go pick them. Again, make yourself available to them and offer to come back to work, if your child is old enough to on their own for a while. Or if not, let them know that you would even be willing to take some work home with you or stay late on your next shift.

*Parent Teacher Day, or Any important school activity. It should not matter if it’s yet again another play or recital, these things should be at the top of your list. We need to be supportive parent’s and share in these moments of your child’s life. I believe these cases are also mommy card moments.

As in before, it’s important to space these things out, or even get a list of dates from the school so you can provide them to your boss at a decent time. Never wait until the day of if you can help it to tell them you have to go to your kid’s baseball game at three that afternoon. While we want them to nice about us being there for our kids, we need to also remember that this is work we are dealing with. It is also important.

Put yourself out there! The more you are willing to do for your company, the happier they are going to be for you. If you are willing to do a little extra here and there, co-workers cannot begrudge you the time off.

*Sluff Day. If there is a day where you just don’t want to be there, the sun is out and it’s a great day out there and you miss your child, a little white lie every ONCE in a GREAT WHILE is not a bad thing. Knocking off work a little early and picking your kid up from school before the bell rings is not always a bad thing. Just tell your boss you have an emergency that you can’t get out of and make sure it’s not going to become a habit. Express that to your child also.

We will always have to deal with those people at work who roll their eyes when they pout about how unfair it is that we mommies get to leave work or not come in on special days simply because we have kids. Don’t you love that? We work hard at being parents and it’s a full time job, sometimes harder than the one we get paid to do. They will never understand how trying and time consuming raising a family can be until they have one. Remember it’s not your job to make friends at work, but to bring home the paycheck and be a good parent.

There are going to be days that you just can’t go to work, but if you are honest with your boss about the important things, and let them know that it’s not going to stop you from doing your best at work, and that you are willing to help out where ever you can to make up for it then you would be surprised at how giving that boss of yours can be.