Every so often I come across a post about some company’s generous policy of allowing new parents to bring their babies to work with them. Usually the praise for the family-focused policy is accompanied by a picture of a smiling baby, happily sitting in a baby seat while mom goes about her office tasks.
These policies are touted as a wonderful solution for new parents who have to return to work and can’t or don’t want to rely on outside childcare.
The reality, however, is much different.
While some babies are calm enough to allow you to get your work done, others demand a lot of attention. Some babies are colicky, need to be held constantly. They need to be burped, changed, cleaned, and on and on.
And, then there’s the feeding.
If you are nursing, you may need to feed your baby as often as once every hour, and if you consider how long a feeding session is, that doesn’t leave much “baby free” time to get work done.
This can be daunting if your job requires you to meet certain daily or weekly deadlines, you have a customer-centric career, or you have a job without flexible hours.
Though, I was working from home, I still found it challenging to balance my job and my baby without outside support. I often found myself working in the middle of the night or very early in the morning to catch up on what I had missed caring for my son during the day. I imagine those who bring their babies to the office have to do the same.