When’s the last time you lied at work to cover up the fact that you needed to take care of your kids? Next time, don’t, Inc. reports.
In the office, “secret parenting” comes in many forms: feigning illness in order to actually care for a child with the flu, claiming you need to reschedule a meeting due to a professional conflict rather than a dance recital … the list goes on.
But this pattern of polite deception isn’t just an undue burden on working parents, experts say; it keeps us from having realistic conversations about how to design workplaces that work well for all employees.
If you’re doing a lot of secret parenting, you’re communicating you think your team should value work over family—or at least pretend to, even if that’s not the message you’re trying to send as a boss.
So talk about your kids more at the office. Hang their pictures at your desk. Openness will normalize juggling caregiving responsibilities with a career and open up conversations about simple accommodations companies can make to help out parents.