Dealing with resentment of parents in the workplace

 

Woman in meeting looking at watchWhen you return to work after having a baby it can be disconcerting to realise that some of your non-parent colleagues (and even some of your parent colleagues) have a bit of a chip on their shoulder about the alleged perks parents in the workplace receive.

Your own sternest critic in this respect may be you. Especially if you were the person who always worked late, who was always in before everyone else, who took work home at night and who was never ill.

Now your working life is affected by things outside your control – childcare failures, child illness, the fact that every hour you work may be an hour for which you have to fork out money.

You can still do a good job, and if you have to be more efficient because there is a nanny knocking off at 7pm or a nursery fining you for lateness, the chances are you will be.

But you may also be in an environment where not working long hours is perceived as slacking. Mumsnetters' experiences suggest that, in a decent workplace, if you show you're not slacking, you should be able to win round difficult colleagues.

"There are some skivers who are parents and some skivers who aren't. Likewise there are some grafters who are parents and grafters who aren't." jbr

But this is by no means universally true. And it's not always just childless colleagues who are the problem:

"The thing that is really doing my head in is older female colleagues with kids not showing solidarity. They seem to have forgotten." Lotsoftoys

If the culture is really unfriendly to families, you may have to accept you are in the wrong place.

"I was passed over for promotion because I left early/started a bit later than everyone else. In the end I thought sod it and now work two days a week and have gone back to uni. Now I don't care what anyone thinks when I am not in or doing hours that suit me. If they don't appreciate or want the extra work you're doing - don't do it!" Ewe

If your workplace is family-friendly, however, then give it a well-deserved pat on the back via the Mumsnet Family-Friendly Programme

And, if all else fails, a gentle insight into your reality might be in order - if nothing else, it will give you a moment's inner satisfaction in your working day:

"If anyone passes comment, the thing to say is, 'You know what you get for part-time work? Part-time pay.'" TidyBush

 

Last updated: 24-Apr-2012 at 5:06 PM