What? People who don’t have children should get something more?
Yes. And here’s why.
First, many jobs give paid days off to care for family members who are sick. I can only speak for education, but every district I have ever worked in gave at least five days for Family Illness. The stipulation is that it had to be someone in your immediate family and/or in your household. In my last district, we were allowed five Family Illness Days. That is a full week’s worth of pay. Many people with children end up taking these days because their children inevitably get sick. I know numerous colleagues who would take at least three of these days for their children whether they were sick or not (i.e. – for doctor’s appointments or scheduling conflicts with snow days, spring break, to stay home and catch up on grading etc.)
In 20 years in education, I used two Family Illness Days. I was single for the first 15 years of my career and lived alone. I had/have no children. Now, I only live with my husband and dog. Thank God our parents are relatively healthy and I have not had to use them. But I certainly could have used a day or two off over the years and could not use a Family Illness Day to do so. The way I figure it, I am owed about 19 weeks vacation or 19 weeks pay.
In addition, we can never use the reason of leaving work early or not staying late due to a child’s game, play, practice, etc. Therefore, we end up working more and longer than those with children. It’s just a fact. Here is an example. A friend of mine was working as a cashier in a grocery store and was always getting called to come in when others with children would call off or not be able to work a full shift due to illness, practice, lessons and whatnot. I remember her saying that it wasn’t fair that just because she didn’t have kids, it didn’t mean that she didn’t have a life. I thought it was a bit harsh at first, but she was right. Whether or not you are single or married, not having kids does not mean that all of your extra time should/could be devoted to work.
Listen, I have been saying for years that the Women’s Lib movement screwed us. While it’s great we have more choices for careers and more rights, they unknowingly made it more difficult for us to not only raise the children and take care of the house, but also work a full day to survive in this world. Many women struggle with the balance of a career and family and I truly feel for them. I think it’s great that more and more companies allow parents to stay home with their children when they are sick. After all, who doesn’t want their mommy when they don’t feel well? But I also think it’s not fair that those of us who do not have children are kind of penalized for it.
We are the ones that get asked to stay late.
We are the ones that are asked to do extra work.
We are the ones they call to come in on the weekends.
We are the ones saving our companies money but not using these days offered to us.
We are the ones who end up complying and doing all of the things asked of us.
Yet we make the same amount as those who are allowed to leave early, stay home, work from home, etc because of their children.
Shouldn’t we somehow be compensated?