I took my mother (pictured here) to work with me once in 1992 – in Hong Kong. She of the double major in Chemistry and German stayed home with my siblings and me, a product of her generation. She struggled mightily with my decision to go back to work after my daughter was born in 1988. I took her on that trip to Hong Kong so we could have an adventure together, but the outcome was much more important than that for both of us.
During that trip, I was leading an international team of consultants on a training mission around the world. My mother sat in on one of the sessions that I taught. That night, six years after the birth of my daughter, she told me that although she’d doubted my decision to be a working mother, she’d decided that day that I’d done the right thing. She told me that she’d never had the experience of having a roomful of adults pay attention to what she had to say, and that I’d be nuts to ever give that up.
I wrote here 4 years ago about whether Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is still relevant. Four years later, this program is even more generously supported here at Kronos, with a day of fun and educational activities for the many kids who attend. You can even follow today’s events at Kronos on Facebook.
In response to my original musings a few years ago, my daughter (now 24) posted the following comment:
As my mother mentioned, I’m not necessarily looking to go into her profession, nor is my brother; and we have both spent days at our parents’ offices where nothing more happened than we sat quietly and did homework while they carried out their normal business. The most important part of any TYCHWD is not exposure or inspiration, but something several others have mentioned: bonding. Just because I may not have gotten the clearest idea of what my mother did each day, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t get something out of TYCHWD. If anything, the plugged-in, on-the-go, never-stop world we live in requires more things like TYCHWD, because honestly, we kids will take what time we can get.
In the balance, Mum, there were trade offs.