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Feeling unsupported as a parent at work | Fairygodboss
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Anonymous
Feeling unsupported as a parent at work
I need a gut check here on whether I am being entitled or if I have a right to feel unsupported at work as a parent. My organization and many of my colleagues are not American, and I have noticed that the attitude toward Covid risks and working from home are very different than mine, likely due to the more mild situation in their home country and the young age of the majority of my colleagues. While I am able to be even more productive at home than at the office, they are lamenting how long it is taking to go back to the old normal. I am also the only parent at the office, and the understanding or even minimal accommodation for my situation as a caregiver have been overlooked. In fact, my boss has said I am "hiding" in my home and even asked why I am so scared to come to work (I am also pregnant). I should also highlight that I did attend one in-person work event in September, and half the team was not properly wearing a mask, so it is not like they are following protocols. I am also not the only one working remotely but I do feel uniquely targeted for ridicule. Anyhow, to add to my feeling of being judged and overly burdened as a parent, my toddler was recently exposed to covid when her teacher tested positive mid-way through a school day. She is now quarantined per order of the health department in our state, though strangely, we as her parents are not. My wife and I are planning to split the burden of missed work to care for my daughter while we lack child care, and we both know that it is not realistic to expect to get much work done while we are on solo parenting duty and we do not have the types of jobs where we can shift our schedules. When I asked to take sick time to care for my daughter who is quarantined because of Covid and waiting on a symptoms check, I was denied. To put it in context, I have taken zero sick days this year. I also never asked for any special accomodation for the 17 weeks when my daughter's daycare was shut down, but that is mostly because my wife, a teacher, was able to work from home so we could split supervision time. I could have also just pretended to be sick, but I thought I should be honest. We are now figuring out how to rearrange my holiday schedule to accommodate childcare even though my contract says I am allowed to take sick leave to care for a sick child. With all that, and adding the fact that I have led my department in meeting all our 2020 goals (ie, I have been very productive this year), am I allowed to feel put upon by my work? What does an organization owe their employees during this unprecedented time? I'm just feeling so burnt out and tired of defending myself and my family for trying to avoid exactly this situation of being without childcare and in a possible exposure scenario.
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