Our new department head called a faculty meeting for 4 PM. In the past, these meetings have started at 3 or 3:30, which I find is just enough time to have a good meeting and then leave work to pick up the kids from day care. With this later meeting time, the faculty meeting bleeds into the last wee minutes of daycare. Any later, and social services would have to take my children so that I could attend the faculty meeting.
When faced with late meetings, the difficulty of being two-body becomes very apparent. Both of us need to attend, so who leaves early to pick up the kids? Does leaving early put one of us at a professional disadvantage? How will our colleagues perceive this? I am especially sensitive to this because I don't want to appear like a "mom" at work. I want appear like a "professor".
Mr. JP and I both separately emailed the department head, notifying him that one of us would be leaving early because of daycare. Mr. JP was the one to leave early to pick up both kids, since his agenda item was first. It was awesome. At 5:15 he stood up and announced to the whole faculty, "I now have to leave to get the kids from daycare." And he walked out. This action made me love him for bringing light to the issue to everyone. Next meeting, it's my turn to get the kids.