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When You're the Only Parent in the Workplace

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In Parenting's February issues, Parenting Post blogger Denene Millner answered a reader's question about being the only parent in her workplace:

Q: I'm the only parent at work, and colleagues complain behind my back about my responsibilities at home. Help!

A: Some people's first inclination would be to confront the naysayers and tell them to mind their own beeswax. But the last thing you want to do is make a scene; it'll only give them more ammunition against you. Still, you do need to make it clear to everyone in the office that you're pulling your weight. So find a coworker with a big mouth and casually mention how much overtime you're putting in. While you're by the watercooler, say something like “You guys are lucky. Once you leave the office at five, you can take off your work hat. I put in more hours at night and on weekends to make up for what I can't get to during the day. I guess all that matters is that we all get our work done in the end.” Of course, it would be great if you could win over everyone, but really, the only person you need to please is your boss. So long as she's willing to keep signing your checks, what your office mates are saying doesn't mean much.

Do you feel guilty about leaving at 5 pm to get home to your kids? How do you handle comments from office mates?

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