Heading back to work after having children can be a challenging transition: between constant day care bugs, school pickups and juggling extracurricular activities, it's a stressful time for many parents.
But having an understanding manager can make all the difference.
That's why a post about work/life balance has gone viral after a boss took to LinkedIn with a powerful message to parents: "I never want you to feel horrible for being a human being".
"I never need to know you'll be back online after dinner," begins single father of two and President of Wunderman Chicago, Ian Sohn. "I never need to know you'll be in late because of a dentist appointment. Or that you're leaving early for your kids' soccer game."
Explaining that he resents the way the workplace has been "Infantalised", Sohn argued that as employees we shouldn't have to apologise "for having lives".
He also lamented the fact that we simply don't trust adults to make the right decisions and that "constant connectivity/availability (or even the perception of it) has become a valued skill."
But, Sohn continues, we should be able to switch off.
"I never need to know why you chose to watch season 1 of Arrested Development (for the 4th time) on your flight to LA instead of answering emails," Sohn writes. "I never need to know that you're working from home today because you simply need the silence."
Reiterating that it all comes down to trust, Sohn notes, "I'm equally grateful for the trust/respect my peers, bosses and teams show me every day."
The father-of-two concludes with a personal story about how "horrible" it can feel when managers aren't supportive of work/life balance.
"Years ago a very senior colleague reacted with incredulity that I couldn’t fly on 12 hours notice because I had my kids that night (and I'm a single dad)," he writes. "I didn’t feel the least bit guilty, which I could tell really bothered said colleague. But it still felt horrible.
" I never want you to feel horrible for being a human being."
Sohn's post has attracted over 600 comments and almost 15,000 likes.
"Props to you for saying it out loud," said Rian Schmidt, a CIO, CTO and VP of engineering in Portland. "It gets easier and more important the higher you are on the ladder. We need to make it the norm. We don't [own] another human's life because they agree to work for us. Trust them to do the right thing, and your odds are so much better that you'll get it."
"Yes sir, your team is lucky to have you," said another.
We couldn't agree more.