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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is a step parent a working parent?

I just read a blog entry that takes a perspective I never considered. It asks, "Does being a step parent make you any less of a working parent?"

Blogger Lylah Alphonse writes: Well, when you’re parenting, step or not, you’re a parent. That’s really all there is to it.Unfortunately, I've had bosses and co-workers who didn't understand that at all. As a step mom, it wasn’t that I was expected to work overtime as much as it was that I was expected to want to work overtime, because I wasn’t “really a parent.” “You can stay late tonight, right?” my then-boss once asked as he got ready to duck out early (to go camping). “It’s not like you’re rushing home to see your step kids, right?”
Um… yes, yes I am. So, actually, no, I can’t stay late.

A co-worker of mine married a man with a young child. She's going through all the anxiety a working parent does, especially because her husband travels for work. She frets over being asked to work late which would leave her step son, a middle schooler, home alone too long.

Of course, custody arrangements differ and everyone's situation is different. As Elizabeth in her Career and Kids blog notes: Your schedule may be different from someone else’s if the kids aren’t with you full time, but the responsibilities are still there.

Do you think step parents should be given the same work/life considerations as working parents? Have you ever had a boss who doesn't recognize your home demands as a step parent?

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