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Mentioning child care - am I being too sensitive?(13 Posts)
I have recently started a new job. Academia, all very friendly, flexible and professional.
My line manager has sent an email to the boss which includes "as yet she doesn't know which side of the conference that stop will be as it depends on child care" referring to me and upcoming travel.
I have been very careful not to mention childcare issues at all. I happily talk about my children, but not in relation to my work.
Only in the case of emergency would I let the fact I have children impact on the work I am expected to do.
I manage fine, thanks to working from home and very flexible working patterns. It's great and I see it as a privilege.
So, am I being a bit sensitive in my line manager mentioning that my travel plans depend on childcare? It's true that I can arrange it around school holidays or what have you in this instance, but other times (conferences) I won't have that flexibility and I absolutely would make sure I had childcare in place.
So, am I being a bit sensitive in my line manager mentioning that my travel plans depend on childcare?
Maybe. An accommodating, understanding boss is a great thing so don't knock it. Perhaps you need to have a casual conversation along the lines of "don't worry, I have childcare sorted but I really appreciate your thoughtfulness". So you are telling them that you are reliable but keeping the door open for when you do need to put DC first (because it will happen).
I think it depends on why you think she mentions it? I’m a manager and a mother. One of my team is also a mother. I make sure I accomodate meetings to her childcare too. I will mention it only because I see it as something that needs to be factored in for meeting scheduling. It is not to put her (or me) down.
I'm confused. You say you don't mention childcare. So why would your line manager say something depends on your childcare, when you've never said it does?
Is your line manager making assumptions based on their own childcare situation? Just assuming you have the same issues they do? Or are they just completely fabricating info to their boss. Or have you actually mentioned childcare in this particular scenario?
If you've never mentioned childcare, I'd be having a word with the line manager asking why they wrote what they did.
Thanks for your comments.
I think there is definitely an element of my line manager knowing I have the same issues as he does (his son is 11). When he has mentioned it, it's been more in a matter of fact sort of way rather than negatively.
He is my FB friend and will have worked out I am a single parent. I just feel strongly that in the work place I want to be completely professional and not make an issue of my single Mother status.
Are you sure that they are referring to your childcare issues and not those of someone else in your team??
It sounds like your manager is managing the boss's expectations in a normal, professional, matter of fact way. I'd do the same for someone in my team and wouldn't think any less of them for making sure that childcare and travel arrangements are in sync. I would also mention lining up childcare to my boss while considering my own travel arrangements. It's just a practicality once you have children isn't it.
Yes, definitely me as he wrote my name!
Yes, I think that's it. I guess it's how it should be (ie shouldn't need to hide the fact we have responsibilities) but I'm wary,
It's all fine, I was really just wondering what others thought.
In reality they have zero clue of the difficulties I have with my ex but I manage and I have very good support from others.
Maybe he is anticipating that you will need to plan in some chidlcare and wants to make the whole trip easier by saying "we will let OP decide the dates erc based on what works for her family"
FV45 I understand why you're wary. I used to feel the same until I took on a more senior role and also realised that men don't worry about this stuff in the same way women do. Since then I approach childcare (or other caring responsibilities, as I have team members who care for older relatives) as part of the job, business as usual if you will. I've definitely seen a benefit in terms of my own feelings around it (less guilt) and the responses I get from colleagues (immediate acceptance). Good luck with it all, you sound like a great colleague.
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