When it began in 1992 in New York City, Take Your Daughter to Work Day, the brainchild of Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Foundation for Women, aimed to give girls the opportunity to explore careers and expand their horizons.
I remember as a kid in the 90s rolling around my mom’s real estate office in a desk chair, making copies of my face on the Xerox machine (you can search for Xerox if you don’t recognize it), and listening board meetings. She was one of the few highest-earning women in a sea of men, and even then I knew she was fighting for her place. I have no doubt that the day had a positive effect on me because I chased my own professional dreams.
Things have changed. The day has grown to include children of all genders and is now known as Take Your Child to Work Day or Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. It was definitely a positive change – the boys, it turns out, needed to see what a workplace looks like – and how their mums and dads can thrive there – as much as their sisters.
Then came March 2020. When the Covid pandemic swept the globe, each day became “take your child to work”. As the world shut down on that traumatic Friday the 13th, my husband and I struggled to figure out how we could manage two full-time careers with four kids eight and under…without any outside help from grandparents. or babysitters. He’s a therapist, I’m a writer. Obviously, his telehealth sessions with clients in crisis needed more quiet, protected time than my deadlines demanded, so I learned to write with kids about me. I learned how to handle Zoom interviews myself while juggling Google Meets for my kids. In the end, we simply took our children out of school to homeschool them, and I learned to write from a tent, rest area, or picnic table in a park. Before the pandemic, we all chuckled at the BBC’s infamous dad when his children and wife popped up during his TV appearance. All too quickly, his brief moment of glory became our reality.
I have good stories to tell. Glamour sex and the city Star Kristen Davis had to put a mattress against her door to drown out the sound of her two kids for this interview, and I loved her even more for it. Perhaps my craziest moment came when Chelsea Clinton herself had to calm down my eldest son during a phone call for this article. She freaked out that the markers had the wrong color cap, and her children, it seems, had also learned during the pandemic that it was okay if your marker caps didn’t match the color of the ink. . While this was happening my toddler pooped on the floor silently in the background and our pandemic pup ate it. Honestly, I was more relieved that I didn’t have to clean it than disgusted.
That’s why this year I think we should cancel Take Your Kid to Work Day. This has been our reality for two years — and I think we’ve all reached our limit. My children participated in more interviews than they wanted. I asked for their input on titles, color palettes, and product roundups. My 8 year old daughter chose all the visual features of this beautiful item. They learned about search engines, keywords, and quality journalism.
The kids were taken to work for two years, and we got over it.
Do you know what I want for the fourth Thursday in April? I want someone other to take my children to work. Take them away from here, show them something they don’t know and broaden their horizons. Maybe their teachers – the real heroes of the past two years – should talk about what they do all day and all the machinations they do behind the scenes to educate our offspring. I’m sure not going to let them skip a scheduled school day to hang out with me while I work. I went there, it’s done.
I also realized that for two years, the whole axis of the professional world has shifted. The mystery of my parents’ work is no mystery to this new generation of children. My children to know we work hard. They to know that some meetings are pointless some are meaningful. They know our bosses and co-workers – maybe just through a laptop screen, yes – but the world of “working parenting” has been fully demystified for Generation Alpha.
Maybe we should just let the fourth Thursday in April pass in silence this year. Of course, this event was launched with good intentions, but things have changed. Let’s send the children to school and continue our work in peace.