What It Means to "Support (My) Family"

Julie and I are both lucky enough to work in jobs where we both have

  1. Good bosses who support a…
  2. …Work-Life Balance

Which means that when we wanted to wait six months to put Baby Vale in daycare, it seemed possible with major help from both our parents and with extensive amounts of planning.

So while we both have bosses who support families, the policies of our companies could not be more different:

Me: Company policies that include: two weeks paid parental leave, flexible work schedules (dependent on client), a stated policy of work-life balance

Julie: No maternity leave and no stated policies on flexible work schedules or work-life balance (but was obviously allowed to take whatever sick leave she had)

Tax breaks for families are great: kids are fucking expensive. But it’s only part of the equation. As much as I hope that Baby Vale cares about money one day, what she really wants right now is to spend time with mommy and daddy. My company has codified policies on families, so there were at least guidelines for my boss to follow. Since Julie’s company didn’t have any codified policies, her boss was left to dictate how he handles her time out. Luckily he was very flexible: allowing her to work from home and set her in-office schedule through the end of December.

In the end, supportive bosses are what’s going to make parental leave work. But supportive bosses are greatly assisted by codified family policies. I was lucky to have both a supportive boss and company with a codified policy. While Julie’s company didn’t have a stated policy, she was lucky that she had a boss that waded through the murkiness of unclear policy and allowed her to do what’s best for our family. People like that should be lauded and I’ve profusely thanked him (after several beers) for not only acknowledging that families should be supported, but also doing the hard job of figuring out how to actually do it.

Jordon Wadlington @jordon