I work in a fairly progressive workplace as far as family issues go. That's other than the long hours and huge volumes of take-home work. It's possible for parents to jobshare or work less than full time without loss of medical benefits. Work hours have been flexible too, although they work out that the majority of early and late hours go to people who don't have child care issues.
"I can't work late, my daughter has ballet" I can't work late, my son has piano" "I cant work late, my kids have soccer" "I can't work early, daycare isn't open yet" "You dont have kids, you can work on christmas" "My kids need me for Thanksgiving, could you work then?" "I need to take off, my kid has an ear infection"
I understand there is a "social contract". After all, who will take care of me when I'm old? Who will visit me when I'm lonely? It's their kids, right? They will say "thanks" for working all of those unwanted hours, right? Their parents will say thanks, right? They'll give me a cookie, maybe?
I do realise that care for the young is our social contract. Today's young will continue our economy, build and maintain infrastructure, keep the food and medicine flowing, protect us from terrorists, when I am old. They might even have to house me on medicaid or something.
Possibly, someone covered my parents in the same way when I was young, so this is payback? Not much, if at all, but that was a different era.
Still, we are going through another round of pregnancies at work. Male and female, they'll take off their 90 days parental leave. That workload will be covered by.... among others, me. Has anyone ever thanked a coworker for covering these parental privileges? Once in a while they'll bring in their spawn, and people interrupt an already overwhelming workday to fawn over the little bundles of joy. Leaving the nonparents to pick up the slack again.
I think we need nonparental leave. Just give anyone who has never taken parental leave, 90 days off with pay and benefits. I think it's fair.
Thanks for letting me vent.