I was watching CNN today over my lunch break, listening to the never-ending saga that is Swine Flu, when a reporter came on to speak about the possibility of school closings in the future. My interest piqued as she gave her report until she said, "You better just make arrangements."
Cause, you know, I have a ton of people just sitting around doing nothing, just dying for me to call them and tell them, "Hey, school's closed until May 11 and I'm making arrangements. Can you watch my kids for me?"
And my boss can't wait for me to say, "Sorry, couldn't make arrangements. I've got to stay home with my kids until daycare opens May 11." In an economy like this, I can't believe the response to working parents is to make arrangements.
No matter what some people may think, it is not that easy to find backup childcare when you are faced with this situation. I know, I've tried. Backup people have jobs, have lives, and have plans that don't include dropping everything to watch your kids for you. And for those of you who suggest paying a babysitter during this time? Ummmm... I've already written a big check for that for the daycare that's closed until May 11, so writing another check for a sitter is ludicrous.
They are children, not flowers. I can't just put them in a vase, throw in some water and stand back to admire them for two weeks.
Maybe the proper response would have been to tell corporate America to make arrangements for workers who couldn't come in as they had to care for their children during this "pandemic". Maybe, for once, the message should have been for employers to understand and make accommodations for the duties of their employees as parents.
And that duty shouldn't have to be... making arrangements.