Moms and dads share their tales of family visits gone bad.
It seems like a good idea. You bring your cute child in to charm the pants off of your coworkers. Instead, they have a diaper blowout, or get an injury only a small person could manage, and you can forget about getting any work done. We asked real parents to tell us their most memorable bring-your-kid-to-work experiences, and they didn’t disappoint.
“My 4-year-old was sick and my boss allowed me to bring her to work with me that day. Being a single parent, losing a day of work wasn't something I could do. I had a conference call with George Steinbrenner that day. As George and I spoke about his upcoming install, my daughter started having a conversation between her stuffed animals in a very loud and animated voice (very unlike her). George, being George, immediately wanted to know what was going on. When I told him my daughter was sick and with me at work, he was affronted and felt I wasn't giving him my attention (which I was. I'd heard enough of the adventures of super duck and fairy girl to last a long time). He hung up on me. I was mortified. My 4-year-old could only be four, so I wasn't mad at her. She had been doing as I asked, entertaining herself. I called back a few days later and apologized. I never again had a business call with a child in the room.” –Mary H., Boston
“We brought our son to my husband's office and he ran as fast and hard as he could into an executive's glass wall. He then bounced off backward and was hysterically crying. We looked like amazing parents.” –Karen, Great Neck, NY
The only thing worse than crying at your own desk is your baby crying at your desk.
“I brought my 10-week-old in while I was still on maternity leave, and as I introduced him to my new manager, he pooped through his clothes and onto my husband’s hand.” –Meredith, Bellmore, NY
“I was in the middle of filming a live video at the office when my son decided at that moment he wanted to nurse. We had to shut the whole thing down so I could get some privacy.” –Audrey, Athens, GA
“I was in Florida for a weekend with my 6-year-old. I was going to fly home with her and then turn around later that day to head out on a business trip alone to New York. But there was a blizzard at home, so I had to take her with me straight to the 6-hour lecture I was giving. We only had our beachy Florida clothes. She was in shorts in New York in February and was on the floor in the back of the room bored as heck.” –Lisa, Philadelphia, PA
“I had to bring my son into a presentation in a conference room, and he ran into the table and started bleeding. I continued talking and held him while he cried and bled. Don’t judge.” –Donna, Brooklyn, NY
An office isn't the ideal location to change a diaper, but sometimes you have to make it work.
“I brought my 4-month-old daughter to my work's holiday party. I needed a place to change her wet diaper. My colleague offered her desk. I was changing her on the desk when she had this huge, liquid poop. I was holding the diaper in one hand and my daughter with my other so she wouldn't fall off the desk when my boss walked in. He was beyond gracious in lending a hand and cleaning up the mess.” –Gabriel, Amherst, MA
“My 2-year-old daughter ran through my office barefoot, stepped on a pushpin, which stuck into her foot until I pulled it out, and she HOWLED for ages. It's one of her earliest memories.” –Lisa, Rockville Centre, NY
Photo: Alan from Staten Island, NY
Alan's daughter and coworker had a memorable Take Your Kids to Work Day.
“One time, my daughter stood up on a desk and started throwing things at my colleague! And another time she took over a different colleague’s desk, put on his headphones and pretty much replaced him.” –Alan, Staten Island, NY
“I was taking my daughters into the office on the train, and when I reached into my purse for our train tickets, my wallet wasn't there. My oldest giggled, ‘I hided it for you, Mommy!’ She'd put it under my pillow back home. The conductor graciously let me fill out an IOU. But when we got to my job, instead of proudly showing off my newborn for the first time to my bosses, I ended up having to panhandle them for train fare back home.” –Debbie, Scarsdale, NY
Written by Meredith Bodgas for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.