This Mom Was Fired for Being Late — & It’s Everything Wrong With Working-Parent Life

It’s 2019, and working moms are still fighting for a little empathy in the workplace. One such mom recently reached out to the FGB Community to tell her story — and it caused moms across the interwebs to band around her in support.

“Help! I was terminated,” the woman wrote.

“I recently have been terminated from my employer of almost eight years for being tardy,” she continued. “Yes, I was tardy more often than not — usually five minutes and never more than 10 minutes. I have two little ones (one and three-years-old), and trying to leave the house with them (during school traffic and work rush hour) is like trying to herd cats in a circus! I am very resentful because I was very loyal to my employer and fair. If I was late, I made sure to stay however long I was late. People often times left early and would report staying a complete eight hours! Sometimes I did not take my breaks to be ‘fair.’ And never did I call in sick for myself. I am only trying to be a good mother.”

Here’s the reality: Moms can wake up five hours early, plan every aspect of their morning, and STILL be bombarded with completely unexpected and unpredictable delays, causing them to be late to work. For example, another FGB’er shared that she was once perfectly on time for her day until her son threw his shoe out of her car window, causing her to be 35 minutes late after trying to recoup the shoe. And according to a recent survey from FlexJobs, 84% of working parents name workplace flexibility as the most important aspect of a potential new job — ahead of work-life balance, salary, and even health insurance.

Child in bed with clock
Image: ElisabethSalleeBauer/Antagain/Getty Images. Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows.

So why are we still fighting for something that the majority not only wants, but needs?

Brie Reynolds, a career specialist at FlexJobs, told Forbes of the list: “It was surprising to us the extent to which parents placed work flexibility above so much else.”

And parents’ lives reach a point where their schedules no longer align with that of their children.

“When children are young and they’re in daycare or preschool, those tend to line up more with a work schedule, but when it comes to kids who are in school, you hit those hours that aren’t compatible with typical work hours,”  Reynolds said.

While parents can always try to simply wake up earlier, pack all the lunches the night before, lay out outfits for the day ahead, etc., these options are still not always guaranteed to have moms in to work on time. But there are many options, on the other hand, for workplace flexibility — from working from home to flexible hours to freelancing.

FlexJobs found that 89% of parents prefer telecommuting, 74% prefer flexible schedules, 51% part-time schedules, 49% partial telecommuting, 49% alternative schedules, and 42% freelancing.

“It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been let go, and it’s been devastating,” the original FGB’er wrote. “I too feel like I’m throwing my resumé down a black hole. What I’m fearing most is that my termination will keep me from getting hired. My termination has been so stressful and very depressing.”

Working moms have enough on their plate without the additional stress and fear of losing a job. Employers should work with their employees to find the best option for them when it comes to their career.

This article originally appeared on Fairygodboss. As the largest career community for women, Fairygodboss provides millions of women with career connections, community advice and hard-to-find intel about how companies treat women.

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