Parents skip work for their sick kiddos all the time, especially while those antibodies are developing, but a new study claims that when that happens, it’s usually Mom who sacrifices her workday.
In fact, Moms are 10 times more likely to skip work for their sick children than Dads, reinforcing old theories about the woman as primary caregiver.
As The Atlantic Wire notes, this results in around $16.3 billion in lost earnings each year from flu season alone, and the vast majority of the time, it’s Mom who’s taking the pay cut.
“Mothers are also five times more likely to take their sick kids to doctors appointments,” the news site adds.
The study, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, also found that among mothers, “about three-quarters report that they are the ones who take charge of health care responsibilities such as choosing their children’s provider, taking them to appointments, and following through with recommended care, compared to approximately a fifth of fathers.”
Here’s a breakdown from Kaiser.
“Four in ten working mothers (39%) must take time off and stay home when their children are sick, over ten times the share of men (3%). Fathers also agree that moms are the leaders of children’s health care needs, though a substantial share of both mothers and fathers say they share responsibility for these tasks.”
Around 60 percent of working moms say they are offered paid sick leave (56 percent) and paid vacation (61 percent). More than half of lower income moms and those in part-time jobs must take time off when their children are sick, compared to about a third of their higher income and full-time counterparts, who are more likely to have others to help with childcare (as well as have money to pay for sitter services), KFF finds.
Unfortunately, “there is a large disparity in workplace benefits, with offer rates of paid sick leave and paid vacation significantly lower among mothers who are low-income or part-time employees.”
President Obama, while recently speaking at a campaign rally in Rhode Island, announced his desire to get more children in “high quality” preschools subsidized by government.
The remarks caused a backlash from stay-at-home moms and Republicans, who attest that the President sees a parent’s role in the workforce more important than their commitment at home.
Regardless of the politics, it’s pretty clear that working women do make a bigger sacrifice when it comes to caring for sick children. What do you think, readers? Should men do more to help out with doctors’ appointments or does a child need Mom there when they’re sick? And what is your experience — do you prefer to be the person who takes the step to skip work or would you rather it be your partner?
[Image via gulfnews.com and ShutterStock]