Bring Your Kids to Work!
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
About a week or so ago, I was getting ready to start a rehearsal with a band I had never worked with before. It ended up being a really profound experience for me, and I would love to tell you about it.
If you only ever experience A Wild Lass through the blog, you need to know that the other half of the business is writing and producing content for live events. This particular band was two female lead singers, with a few musicians to back up their keyboard and guitar.
They came into the room, one pushing a stroller with a small child and both carrying bulky bags. If you’re a mom, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Four small children trailed after them, bringing with them the chaos and noise that usually ensues when that many kids are together in one place.
They set down the sippy cups, stuffed unicorns, and diaper bags and started warming up, checking mics and tuning. Then they rolled right into rehearsal, moving through the set list, while the kids ran around and around.
There was mayhem but very little mischief. Their drummer and guitarists weren’t phased a bit, and in between lyrics the women used their mics to tell the kids to get down and come back over here and other general momming.
You know what they didn't do?
They didn’t apologize.
And you know what else? They rocked. They got in their full rehearsal, they worked through the sticky bits, we changed some lyrics for them, and their performance was en pointe.
Please note, the kids did not attend the performance. I fully recognize there are some workplace environments that are not conducive for hosting children.
Something you may not realize about most tech teams is they are male dominated. It’s almost always me and a bunch of guys, which I like just fine. They’re generally welcoming, understanding, and happy to work with me. Yet it’s important to note that they don’t always view things the way a woman in the workplace might.
I had a conversation with one of the tech guys around the same time that we produced this show. He got called into the office that week when he was off duty, which meant unexpectedly bringing his infant along. He asked the office ladies to watch him while he handled the pressing issues. My reaction? “Why didn’t you strap him in the baby backpack and wear him while you were working?” This struck a chord for me, especially in contrast to the women who didn’t look for a sitter and brought not one but five small kids along.
So many times companies are open to bringing kids in if childcare falls through. And so many times the opposite is true. Let’s normalize bringing the kids to work, wearing the babies, and rehearsing despite general mayhem from toddlers. It didn’t affect the quality of the work that was done, and women in the workplace need to see more women like these two, getting quality work done without apology.
I have distinct (and very pleasant) memories of going to work all day long during the summer–with BOTH my parents. Some days I spent all day in the IT building with Dad. Other days I spent all day reading books at the library with my mom. Either way, both parents brought kids to work and it wasn’t a problem.
Kids can be raised with behavior expectations. Employers can be brought around to the idea of children in the workplace. Parents can get work done as they simultaneously parent.
If you’re a woman who brings your children to work, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. How did you broach the topic? Did it take some convincing? Do you feel like you have to apologize? Do your kids behave? Did your parents take you to work with them when you were small?
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