Milli Hayman

I have a question about the logic of teleworking in order to spend more time with a new baby, avoid daycare or nanny costs, etc. I work (in an office at a state government agency) and am the mother of a 3-year old child (who is in daycare). If I were teleworking from home with my child at home, there is NO WAY I would be able to be productive unless there were another caregiver at home, and even then I think my child would be constantly interrupting me for attention. Plus, it doesn’t seem right for the child, as a young child needs frequent interaction even if he/she is better at playing independently. And when I was at home with my new baby until she was 4 months old, I would not have had time or energy for work; I was tired all the time from the unavoidably irregular sleep schedule, getting up during the night, and trying to keep up with housework, laundry etc. In fact, my agency’s telework policy stipulates that if an employee works from home with a child in the house, the employee cannot be the sole caregiver present – and I think this is a very sensible policy.

My other comment is about the notion that female bosses are more understanding and empathetic of the difficulties of balancing being a mother and being a professional. In my experience, female bosses with children are sometimes the least empathetic if you’re having difficulty making the balance work, and the solutions that worked for them and their children don’t work for you and your children.