Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 18 of 30

Thread: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    in the ning nang nong
    Posts
    12,163

    Default Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    I'm reading a book about how men and women think differently, speak differently, interpret differently and how that impacts on work. The book was lent to me by a friend who got a lot out of it, and thought I might be interested in it too.

    There's a lot of really interesting things - a lot of stuff which I think is spot on - but one thing keeps coming up in the real life interviews, case studies etc which is just Peeving. Me. Right. Off.

    And I wonder whether that's mostly because I'm in the minority situation, where I am the breadwinner, and my DH is the breadmaker. In that I am out of the house for 12-20 hours a day working, and DH is with our DSs 12-24 hours of the day.

    DH is a SAHD pure and simple and wonderful. He isn't like one of the SAHDs we see, where he just sorts them out, and then goes and works part time/ works from home/ runs another company/ blogs/ plays internet poker/ delivers circulars or anything - he is a hard working full time child rearing parent, who does the lion's share of the cooking cleaning shopping and laundry, and studies part time for personal enjoyment (which thoroughly support). In the same way that a lot of mothers are a SAHM pure and simple - they look after the kids and run the household. When the boys are at school, we anticipate that DH will go back to work, as children get more expensive, and if those additional costs increase quicker than my pay rises come, then we will need to go back to two incomes - but if wee can afford it, I would support him continuing to be an at home parent, or to find part time work, if he wants to.

    So here's what is bothering me (and what leads into my question) ... the books seems to be targeted at assisting women in understanding how men (generally) think in the workplace, how that can differ to how women (generally) mean / interpret / filter / etc things, and how by being aware of these differences, you can chose to approach things in a way which will get your desired result better. Eg: instead of explaining the facts and circumstances (like I have above!) you may chose to start with the bottom line, and then ask if background would help.

    It's not directive, it's just information and findings from (literally) thousands of surveys and interviews, with the data compiled with case studies, conclusions, etc.

    But there is this ongoing assumption from the (mostly men) interviewed, that at the end of the day, it's great for women to work and all, as much and as hard as they can after making sure their families are a-ok.

    Eg: a high ranking person was talking about women getting promoted, and how it peeves a lot of guys when a woman gets promoted at a comparable timing to men, when at the end of the day she's worked less hours, put in less time for marketing, BD etc (and therefore has brought in less clients, less work, etc) but no one can say this or express their resentment publicly, because they'll look like a jerk ... but in the same breath, everyone knows it's not fair, because the guys who were promoted have worked longer and harder, and the woman doesn't necessarily deserve the promotion on the same timing and the same trajectory -- but they can't say that. THEN at the same time, he says something like, "If her kid is sick, obviously you want her to be able to leave early and take them to the paediatrician - because you'd want your wife's boss to let her do that"

    THAT'S my problem!! Right there! The assumption that (a) your wife is never going to be the boss; and (moreover) (b) the assumption that if your kid is sick, it's your wife's responsibility to take them to the Dr.

    How about YOU take them to the Dr??



    What happens in your family, or in people that you know - is it instantly the assumption that if someone needs to leave work or stay home or whatever, that it's the mother?

    Is it a joint decision, based on what you each have going on that day?

    Is there an assumption that it's the guy's job? ((I can honestly say that when DH went back to work for a few months between DS1 and DS2 that he took time off when DS1 was ill, and his work was not happy at all! They couldn't get their head around the fact that anyone with a penis needed to take carer's leave for a sick child, and actually tried to tell him he wasn't allowed to do it any more, but we responded in pretty plain terms to that suggestion...)

    Do you take it in turns?

    Is it based on something else (where you each are, which one of you has the car, where the child is, etc?)

    I'm interested to see what others say ...

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    3,201

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    Ours is shared. Both DH and I work, DH full time, me part time (I'm a boss!). I am the higher income earner also, despite my part time status.

    If one of the kids are sick and we need to pick them up from school/childcare etc, or need the day off to care for them, we generally work it out based on the following
    a. if its my work from home or RDO - then me
    b. who had the last carers leave day?
    c. what have we each got on workwise that day
    d. is it after 2pm? As then my Mum has finished work for the day and we will ask her to help

    Your post riles me up too, I get so annoyed with some peoples perception about mothers in the workplace, whereas Fathers are treated no different to males who aren't fathers - Grrrrr. I am part time and have a busier workload than 2 of my male co-workers and perform higher than both of them. They are full time. So Mothers are certainly not 'not pulling their weight'

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Tiny Town
    Posts
    4,675

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    This is something that ****s me too. When I am working, my job is generally more demanding than DHs. I have no one who can just step in at a moments notice and do my job, meet my clients etc. I travel most days so if I'm out on a farm with a client I'm not able to take a call, and I'm not able to leave at a moment's notice. DH on the other hand is. He's able to leave and know there are others who will pick up the slack.

    So, if a kid is sick at daycare, 99% of the time I'm not able to leave early to get them. DH is, and does. And because he finishes work at 3 and I'm supposed to finish at 5, he does the pick up after work and is rarely able to do overtime. If there is a big issue and he absolutely can't leave on time he calls and I change what I can to leave early.

    But it's hard on both of us, because DH has met some resistance to needing that flexibility, and now that I'm on maternity leave and he can stay back or go to a call out whenever needed, it's a bit more 'acceptable'. My job is also low on flexibility, and I want to be the one that goes to my kids when they're sick. So when I do manage to change things to be with them it doesn't always feel like it's welcome. I think there's a reason I was better at this job before kids, and a reason I'm the only Mum in our region doing it. The others are men and very recently two young women have been added (prior to that I was the only female).

    I think it comes down to a stereotype of what mums and dads should be doing, and should want to be doing. The dad should be a worker first, dad second. A mum should be mum first, worker second and therefore should stick to the simple jobs that you can move around easily. What they should be doing is making jobs like mine more accessible to mums, because I am bloody good at it when I have the right support and no one should be excluded from it just because they're a mother. They also shouldn't need to do it 'like a man' in order to be taken seriously.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Albs, WA
    Posts
    971

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    Im the breadwinner (I work 25 hrs a week) and study 25 hrs a week
    DH studies 25 hours a week.
    Depending on what we are doing on the day, affects who will take the day off.
    If I only have a half day at uni, and DH has a full day, then he will miss half the day while I have my class, then we swap in the carpark, and I take the child home. If its a work day for me, he will miss his class as we cant afford for me to not work, and if I dont work there is 99% of the time noone to cover me, so the clients health is at risk.
    Its hard to juggle, but we manage

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    Yep this attitude annoys me too, but it really really gets my DH riled up.
    He hates the assumption that he wouldn't be as much of a parent as me, that he wouldn't be as capable, committed, or responsible for caring for our son as me just because he's the man.

    We both work part time, at the moment my DH makes more about 2/3 of our income but up until a few months ago it was even and next year I'll probably be making more than him.
    If someone needs to stay home with our sick child we work it out based on what we have going on and how close we are to where our son is at the time.

    In some ways it's hard to be juggling all the time, but it's also really rewarding. We both get the careers we want and we both get to be active parents. Neither of us would want to miss out on either of those.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Smidgen-ville
    Posts
    3,736

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    PN when I was younger (maybe 25 years ago) I began to be unwell. I needed to be collected from school maybe once a month and taken home for a day or two.
    My mum worked casual and my dad worked full time. If my mum was working she was in a role that often paid well, with tips. Also, she didn't want to get offside with the place and potentially lose lucrative shifts.

    Dad often stayed home. It was long before wifi. He just stayed home and looked after me. I will have to ask how it was viewed way back then.

    Maybe you need to write your own book

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    In my Zombie proof fortress.
    Posts
    6,449

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    DH is the main breadwinner and works full-time, his work also has the greater possibility of progression and the associated $$$.
    I work part-time, school hours. I was hired with them knowing I am a parent and the owner had the expectation the role would suit someone like myself.

    Even with that arrangement we share the load with sick kids. Often we decide on who can afford to be away from work (no appointments and other commitments). Also on which one of us may be also not feeling 100%. We find winter, if one of the kids has a bad cold, then one of us has as well, or could do with a rest day.
    DH's work likes to promote themselves a family friendly, so they are OK with dad's having time off. Well to clarify, the business is ok, but his direct supervisor is not (middle-aged woman, no kids and cannot understand why I don't take all the time off )

    I do find though, that other appointments fall on me to organise and take the kids to. DH is fine with the GP visit when they are sick, but dentist, optical, any other concerns, he just expects me to do. Now I snap back, that is he has a concern about the kids that needs an appointment, he is welcome to arrange it.

    It is frustrating the assumption that the female is always the care giver and that any time taken off for kids is grumbled about. Yes, I have to leave on time due to children, but when I was studying part-time of an evening, I also had to leave on time. Also before kids, I had other things I wanted to do outside of work, which meant I also took time off (annual leave) and left on time. Women get bagged for taking Maternity leave, but I have worked in environments where if a male decided to take extended leave or even resign (only to return) for an overseas holiday for the same length of time, it was deemed a great thing and celebrated!
    I point out at work now, that everyone has commitments of some kind and just because I have children/work part-time does not mean I let down the business. For example one of our staff is a big local footballer, around grand final time if his team is playing we are lucky to see him in the office at all!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In Bankworld with Barbara
    Posts
    14,222

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    And that right there sums up the patriarchy :/

    It wasn't an issue when I wasn't working (naturally because I was home all the time anyway) but now we are both working it's usually DH that takes the day off if need be because his work is more flexible like that than mine so we work it out as it happens. As a teacher they need to arrange a casual to come in and cover me, but with DH, there are more than enough men on crew to cover his work. I do work at the school where our youngest 3 go so if they got sick when I was working I know they would be right in sick bay or if they were really bad I have someone I can call to get them. Dh works out of town so if it was a sudden thing it would be harder for him to arrange it, but if we knew a kid was sick it is easier. He also works a 4on-4off roster so he technically only works 6 months of the year anyway.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    In a house, on a hill with a big fat welcome mat!
    Posts
    6,772

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    We both work part time flexible hours. We shared time off however, I am the organizer and decider around who stays home and who goes to work. My work is in a corporate environment and DH's isnt. Both have different restrictions and bonus'.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Gold Coast
    Posts
    2,117

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    I originally posted a novel explaining my experience with this. I quit my job because of the way I was being punished/bullied about my parental role. I was under terrible stress and pregnant with DS2, so I quit. But re-reading it just made my stomach turn.... ugh. So this is take two.

    Yes. Women are most often expected to sacrifice their job/themselves to care for a sick child. I hate that. If I'm lucky, when I return to work I'll go and work for DP's boss and it'll pretty much rule out any of this happening to us again. Afterall, it won't matter to him which one of us goes home, he's down one employee no matter what.. lol.

  11. #11

    Default Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    I get sick leave, as a subby DH doesn't so it falls to me and always has based on that alone. Now though DH is SAHD and works part time and I'm full time so kids stay with him if needed although it's much less than when they were wee squids getting sick all the time at cr?che.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    I have the opposite. My boss expects my DH to take some of the sick days for the kids. His boss also expects it. My boss has young kids so has an understanding. We have known DHs boss for over 13 years and he couldn't care less if DH took sick leave for the kids. Especially since he can work from home.
    We decide who is staying home based on who has what on and what can be moved. I find it difficult because when they're ill, I just want to be with them.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,794

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    More often than not, DH will take time off work if it is known early morning or previous night. Or whoever is on drop off's. DH is a shift worker so it isn't always one of us doing the same thing.

    Another reason he stats home most if the time is finances. I am perm casual, 2 days a week (I don't get paid when I am not there, DH does), so unless the kids are really sick, it makes more sense for DH to stay home..

    My workplace knows my family comes first, and are very flexible about leaving early or working from home if I need to, but DH also likes to help the kids when they are felling unwell..

  14. #14

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    We have a fairly simple rule. If I'm at home, I deal with it. If I'm not, then DH deals with it.

    Having said that, I work on-site only in school terms, so have the school holidays at home. And have applied to cut down to part-time in a few months too.

    It really irritates me when I'm the third person on the emergency contact list and am the first one called. No. Call DH. He's the Daddy, he can leave work, he can take calls while he works, call him. Not me. And even if you cannot contact DH, you call contact #2 on the list (PiL). Don't come straight to me because I'm the Mamma. Call contact #1, then #2. Then me. That has happened before and work insisted that I go. I was really mad: I shouldn't be in that position, nor should work. I was looking forward to my afternoon. DH was also angry, he should have been called.

    DH's work are really OK with it: he can work from home and will make up some of the hours if he needs to. He is contactable by phone. He will go in during the evening after I get home from work for a couple of hours to deal with stuff. So DH doesn't really get "time off" for Liebs being ill, but he gets something.

    DH and I would probably like to have a chat to some of those men interviewed too!

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    SE Melbourne
    Posts
    2,975

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    Just from a different perspective, being the one who has to choose which parent to call at times.... I often find if I call the father, I am told to call the mother.... More often than not. Also often parents are not logical about who they list as the emergency contact, and they may put things in the "wrong" order....

    So while I totally agree that it seems wrong, society as a general rule hasn't moved on from the idea that women are primarily the caregivers...

    Personally I'm not totally bothered by that, but if I was given different information from a school or a parent I would contact the parent I was told to - whoever it was. I think that's the issue, kind of understandable that people might assume, but if told differently they should listen. And certainly no one should be judged for their choices - whether it is working or not, male or female.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    3,300

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    We decide based on what works for that day - factors taken into consideration include - who has what on, whether get paid if off (e.g. if I am contracting no work no pay), what is best for the children (e.g. DS still has BF, so if he is sick it may be easier for me to be off), whether can work from home etc. etc.

    DH would never assume it would be me, although I am definitely considered the primary caregiver.

    How old is the book? Where is it from, here? or abroad?

    I am not sure I would let the interviews rile me, because in general I have not encountered those opinions from men who do have partners who are working (I would say that actually I have encountered more negative opinions about womens roles from women).

    Whoever take the days off, I do think that in most cases there is one partner who is the one who takes on the role of 'making sure the family is ok' - in some families that is the man, and I think that role can shift over the years.

    I am not that convinced that men and women think that differently really, and if they do I am not sure that getting women to approach things like men is the answer, I wonder if there is a book for men, to understand women better so that they can approach things in a 'female' way - I doubt it somehow. Really it would be better for there to be more acceptance in that different people have different ways of doing things and recognizing the benefits in different approaches.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    in the ning nang nong
    Posts
    12,163

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    Book is from the US, published 2011.


    Yeah. We hardly break the mould, as it's not unique, but a fair divergence from the stereotypical ... to the point that I actually only took the maternity leave work would (graciously, generously) give at full pay, and then DH took the 12 months unpaid parental leave.

    It worked for us. Wouldn't work for everyone.

    DH has always been the emergency contact for the DSs - places still tend to call me the first couple of times, but they learn quickly ...

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    3,300

    Default Re: Parenting, work and gender - who takes the day off?

    Quote Originally Posted by peanutter View Post
    Book is from the US, published 2011.
    Working conditions in the US are quite different from here (lack of - statutory holiday entitlements, parental leave, sick/carers leave etc.) and I think these things do have a big impact on peoples views and perceptions.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •