My kids are not in my office, staring at me while I type. I know that it’s Take Your Children to Work Day, but as the offspring of a work-at-home blogger-writer-author-spokesperson, my kids see me work all too often, whether it’s Mom answering an e-mail from an editor while we’re in the cereal aisle at the supermarket, or all of us being followed to the school bus stop by The Today Show.
Back when I was a stay-at-home mom, I didn’t have to take a special day to show them what I was already doing in front of them for upwards of 100 hours a week. That’s why I created my own holiday, Please Take My Children to Work Day, for part- and full-time at-home mothers and fathers — so we’d all get a break from the everyday.
My husband’s office didn’t have their usual Take Your Kids shin-dig today, presumably because they were too busy having layoffs. I dunno. Maybe they’re working too hard with fewer people on staff to take time out of the day to show the kids how to teleconference and how to design web sites.
What I do know is that this is a hard holiday for a lot of parents this year in particular, whether they’re unemployed or working doubly hard (some, while making less). Maybe it’s better if the kids don’t see that.
I can’t help but wonder if our kids’ generation will grow up more like my grandparents than we did. Even during the recession of the early 80’s, I don’t remember much angst over where the money was coming from or how much things cost like I’m seeing not only online, but in my own fairly well-off neighborhood.
I don’t remember consciously picking something cheaper on the menu while out to dinner with my parents like my kids do now, on the increasingly rare occasion that we go out to dinner. They save boxes and tissue paper like I never did, and they squeeze every last drop out of their shampoo bottles and toothpaste tubes.
Yet I suspect that a little worry, coupled with smart teaching about money (both have CD’s, if only with dismally low returns), will serve our children well, and would have served our own generation better prior to the Great Recession. We all got a little drunk on credit and “had-to-haves” that were really just “nice-to-haves-if-you-can-afford-it.” Now we’re paying for it — or wondering how we’ll pay for it.
Maybe our kids don’t need to see us work — if we’ve even got work — this year. Maybe they just need to know that we love them, and that we hope that the economy turns around again before they decide whether or not to take their own kids to work some day. Now that’s something I’d love for them to see.
What do you think? Feeling the squeeze of the Great Recession?