A common complaint in the childfree community is that parents get more flexibility and more time off in the workplace than those without children, while us childfrees are left to cover for them. "Oh, Mary can't stay late -- she has kids," is something many of us have heard before.
I am in total agreement that this is B.S. I resent the implication that as a childfree person, my family obligations and personal time are somehow considered less important than those of someone who has kids. While we all do need a little flexibility at times for personal reasons, we should all get the same amount, no matter what those reasons are. And no one without children should be expected to work late, or on holidays or weekends, any more often than those with kids.
Of course, this assumes we're all getting paid the same. There are attorneys at my firm who are on the so-called "mommy track," and have worked out arrangements where they get paid less money and only have to work, say, 9-5 three days a week. This is fine with me, as long as I'm not being asked to cover for them. Their time and money tradeoff is their own business. What I have an issue with is when parents technically have the same job and salary as I do, and yet get more leniency when it comes to arriving late, leaving early and taking off extra days.
Today I heard the most ridiculous argument ever in favor of this from someone on a forum I post on:
"Before I had kids, I used to complain about parents getting perks that I wasn't entitled to- more leniency coming in early, not staying late- etc. I never actually had to pick up their workload- but I still resented it. One day I was not exactly tactful when I voiced my displeasure- and I was put in my place by a co-worker that did have kids. She told me the truth, through tears of frustration. She wanted to know who I thought would be paying into all the systems that would allow me to live comfortably in our elder years- the children of today drive the economy of tomorrow. Who would make all the things we would need? Who would service all those same things? Someone's children. Who would care for us? Someone else's children. Who would carry on after I was gone? Someone else's children. She said- maybe hers. So would I back the hell off- because I certainly wasn't helping the parents who had to work and raise the people who would be taking care of me later on? Made me think- and have a lot more compassion for working parents- and that was before I had kids."
This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. I take care of my own future by saving and investing and paying my taxes. I don't expect care or handouts from anyone's kids later on. Yes, someone has to give birth to doctors, lawyers, grocers, etc., for our society to continue, but so what? I pay for those services -- and I don't see why I should pay again with my time by covering for the parents at work so they can supposedly go off to raise tomorrow's bright future. Not to mention that of course, today's parents are also raising tomorrow's serial murderers, rapists, thieves, terrorists and school shooters.
What a load of sanctimonious bull.