Calm, Cool and Committed

Three Moms and a Dude

America Attacks!! (Working Families)

on September 4, 2012
Family

Who could ever hate this family?? XOXO!!

Vitamin D and my family are at the top of my happy list. The more I’m outside, in the sun, breathing the country air and absorbing Vitamin D, the more energetic and lively I feel.   And, the more quality time I spend with my family, the more at-ease and complete I feel.  

Recently, Time Business published an article online about one of the happiest places on earth (Iceland) and listed its secrets to happiness. The subtitle, “Icelanders are more than twice as happy as Americans. Here’s what your business can learn from them,” intrigued me, so I continued to read. When I reached number three, however, my blood began to boil.

Here’s what I read:

Most U.S. businesses seem to actively hate families, seeing them as unwelcome distractions from the work at hand. Iceland, by contrast, is beyond family friendly. For example, companies provide nine months of maternity leave-for both fathers and mothers. Making certain that employees can focus on their families reduces stress and keeps workers on a more even keel.

(Read More: http://business.time.com/2012/08/28/secrets-from-the-worlds-happiest-workplace/)

Literally, after reading the first sentence, anger welled up inside of me, and my hands began to quiver. Why? Because I know what it’s like to have to choose between work and what’s best for my family. Just this past Friday, my son’s daycare called to tell me that he was feverish and not his happy, active self.

Panic set in.

It’s only the second week in to school; I can’t take a day already! What if I don’t have enough days to last the year? What kind of mom am I for thinking like this? Why can’t I just leave when my son needs me, without worrying about who will judge or punish me??

Guilt, guilt and more guilt…

To be clear, I do not think my employer “hates” my family. However, recent policy changes have made it clear that businesses understand and support families less and less. In particular, working mothers are pressured to choose between work and their children’s needs. What makes my blood boil is when strong, successful, independent women are looked down on or indirectly punished for being good moms – when they stay home to tend to an ill child or choose not to take work home, for example. To me, not only is treating good moms differently because of these choices unacceptable, but it is also detrimental to our children, our families, our communities and ultimately, our country.

Is this the next American epidemic? Share your experiences and opinions below.

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7 responses to “America Attacks!! (Working Families)

  1. Molar Mother says:

    It’s not just families that corporate America is against, it’s everyone. Working America seems to be against people’s health in general. How many people skimp on doctors’ appointments because they’d have to take time off? And why do we talk positively about people who never take a day off? If you’re sick, you shouldn’t come to work — you aren’t productive. In fact, it’ll take you twice as long to heal and get back to being productive.

    A great, and truthful post!!!

  2. Molar Mother says:

    Oh, and I love that pic!

  3. Great topic, MEA! I love the fact that MEA can take off work if our kids are sick and was able to stay home with our son for 9 months and still keep her job. I love the fact that the policies put in place protect her from being terminated as long as she uses the contract to our family’s advantage. That being said, behind the closed doors, CEO’s are coming up with ways to avoid hiring women like her, without being sued.

    Businesses need to make money! In order to do this, they cannot make decisions based on their emotions. Most people cannot separate their emotions and what is good for business. This is one of many reasons why 56% of businesses fail in the first five years.

    Any potential employee walking through the door is an investment. I know this is not a popular view, “I am a person, not an object”, but face it-you are a walking dollar sign. From the very start of reviewing a candidate’s resume, money is being spent to find “The One.” The financial investment continues after the hire and continues through the life of your employment. Any company who invests in their employees obviously wants a return on their investment. It does not make sense to invest thousands of dollars into someone who has no plans of long-term employment. As with any investment, companies have to do their best to evaluate their risk and avoid an investment that is high risk. Young women are considered high risk investments. As a business person, I have to agree with this investment philosophy. As a father, husband, brother, uncle and son, this is sad.

  4. Mea says:

    Respectfully explained and interesting perspective, Jonathan. I think if people, along with their needs and unique talents, are put before the dollar sign, however, productivity would soar. I read an article stating that most employees would rather their employers appreciate them, than give them a raise!

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