VP Dad Pleads for Workers to Empathize With Parent Colleagues This Back-to-School Season

A working dad on LinkedIn has a special message for fellow working parents who will undoubtedly be stressed out getting into the groove of things during back-to-school season.

Matt Kaufman, a dad and vice president of a MedTech career development firm, wants people who juggle both family and career—and those that work with them—to be considerate of one another during this time.

In a post, he acknowledged that the upcoming school year would bring academic, social, physical and emotional challenges to children—challenges that would affect moms and dads too. “For us, the parents, this translates to that perpetual feeling of being stretched to our absolute limit. Our careers are in full swing and these are the sweet-spot years for development, advancement and compensation,” he wrote.

He also mentioned how parents are expected to be “on” at work, and be “on” for their kids at home when they’re totally exhausted. “The ridiculous amount of pressure to be redlining all day long and still be able to sit down at night and go over Algebra. Listening to who sat at their lunch table, who likes who and how their teacher already hates them,” he wrote.

His age, however, has given him perspective in dealing with this stress. And from his experience with last year’s back-to-school season, which went fine, he realizes this year’s back-to-school season will likely not be so different.

One thing working parents can do to make it less stressful, he wrote, is to be more understanding of one another at the office. Remember, if a colleague’s kids are back in school, they likely have more stuff on their plate than usual.

“For the next 30 to 60 days, keep in mind the circus that is going on in everyone’s household. If someone is a few minutes late on a conference call, forgets to CC you on an email or that it was their turn to bring in donuts, go easy on them,” he wrote.

Matt continued his post by reminding readers to have some “rachmones”—an old Yiddish term which means pity or compassion, and telling them to enjoy the ride, which is a gentle reminder that back-to-school season isn’t forever, and kids grow up fast.

His post certainly resonated with the LinkedIn community.

“Well said, brother. I kind of miss those days and tell others they will actually miss them from time to time,” commented LinkedIn user Jay W. Doobrow.

“Compassion and understanding are imperative at work as school starts this week, traffic and commutes are more challenging, soccer commences … Let’s support each other during this trying time,” commented user Carin Musak.

Matt’s message is so damn refreshing. While there are many factors outside your control when it comes to back-to-school season, coworkers can make this stressful time much more bearable by simply being kinder to and more understanding of one another.

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