A Childfree Take on Taking Your Child to Work

This Thursday, we will see the 22nd anniversary of the Ms. Foundation’s Take Our Daughters to Work day.* First conceived in 1992 by Ms. Foundation President Marie C. Wilson together with Ms. Foundation co-founder Gloria Steinem, the day has spread to dozens of countries and includes millions of participants and workplaces.

Image via Flckr CC

Image via Flckr CC

As a feminist sociologist of gender who studies workplace relations and is committed to workplace equality, I applaud the Ms. Foundation’s commitment to encouraging children to “dream without gender limitations and to think imaginatively about their family, work and community lives.” As a sociologist of families who studies (and happens to be) childfree, I am also mindful that the day may not be every childfree person’s favorite day to show up at work.

There are ways to get through the event if you’re not a kid person.

1. Tell your coworkers in advance of the day that you prefer to stay focused on work during Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. This can be done politely.

2. If a direct approach doesn’t feel doable, tell coworkers that day that you are terribly busy and, as much as you would be happy to interact with their children, you must focus on your work for the day.

3. If you are lucky enough to have your own office with its own door, close it. If you work in an open space, put on some head phones, turn up the tunes, and, if you’re at a computer, keep your eyes on the screen.

4. Make the day special for you and your childfree family with a Take Yourself Away From Work Day! Ask your employer if you can work from home, noting your desire to stay totally focused on your job. Or, take the day off and enjoy!

Thinking of kids in the office as any other non-employee visitor might help too. Here at w{n}hab! we live by the mantra that kids are people too. We sometimes enjoy the company of some children (in some settings). There are others with whom we simply don’t connect. Personally, I’m not thrilled with any uninvited interruption in my work day. It doesn’t matter how many years the interrupter has been on this earth. But I’ll behave politely to anyone who knocks on my door at work because I like to think I’m a generally polite person. And I won’t let the interruption ruin my day.


*Since 2003, the day has also officially included sons and, in that year, became Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work day.

One Response to A Childfree Take on Taking Your Child to Work

  1. Victor October 10, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

    Reality shows that marriage makes most people much happier than perpetual lifelong single-hood. However, the world is greatly overpopulated and we don’t need more people (especially with automation of so many jobs). As kids are so expensive and actually get in the way of romance in marriages, many people could be much happier as married without children. In addition, the real reason for poverty is that people with no money often have several kids and it is unfair that society should shoulder the burden of other people’s bad choices.

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