It's a Dad's Life
By ANNE SOMMERS
“We managed being a band and being a family”
Paul McCartney interview (Wingspan)
How many Dads do you know who bring their babies to work? One unique dad in the Inland Empire does. His chiropractic office, complete with changing table and playpen is fully equipped for his baby boy, Foster. Born eight months ago, little Foster is quite at home with his dad’s workplace. He naps in his Dad’s private office, has his diaper changed by Dad on the fold down diaper bar in the office restroom, and enjoys being carried around by Dad and sometimes meeting patients.
No, Foster doesn’t cry, carry on or disturb the well run, professional like quality of the office. But he does add a sense of reality and healing to a culture, generally bent on separating children from the workplace. Everybody oos, aahhs and smiles over the cute, endearing baby. And sometimes, when the need arises, a patient may play with or carry Foster.
The important thing is that Foster is incorporated into one parent’s real life and valued as a part of the community. Because of this he has the opportunity to “learn what he lives,” including his father’s values and insights. He can also experience a range of people and various ideas through his contact with his father’s business and with the communication and bonding that he develops with his father.
Foster’s dad, Dr. Todd Donohoe is fully prepared for children, not only his own but his junior patients as well, because he specializes in children’s health. Furthermore, his office is child safe and child friendly - children are welcome, cared for and understood. After having completed three years of advanced coursework, Dr. Todd will soon hold the title, “Diplomat of Pediatrics.” He will be treating childhood ailments, such as allergies and sprains, and helping parents with common health concerns. And for those parents who cannot afford chiropractic care for their children under 12, Dr. Todd will treat them at no charge.
When asked why he brings Foster to the office, Dr. Donohoe replies, “Because I can. My wife, works full time too and we don’t have grandparents in the immediate area. We have to manage on our own.”
Like Foster’s dad, many mothers and fathers are prioritizing their family’s welfare and taking children to work or rearranging schedules to share childcare. Some are working from the home or going back to the way life was in centuries past, where several generations participated in the family business. Even Caesar’s troops brought along their wives and kids. And when people went to prison, their families would come too!
Today, while not every occupation allows for family togetherness in the workplace, there are plenty of examples of parents and children growing up and working together.
Here, in Temecula, Mr. Stuart of Stuart Cellars incorporates his children into the workplace, as does Carl Brown of Neighbors. Carl supervises Justin, 7, Nathan, 5, and little Macy, 4, as they put labels on envelopes and stuff, roll and bag the newspapers for distribution. Musician and songwriter Paul McCartney traveled all over the world creating and expressing his music, with his family. With some compromises I am sure, his family still took precedence in his life, while he managed a popular, successful and artful career. In a television interview recently, he talked about it, “We managed being a band and being a family.”
I think Sir McCartney’s family priorities as well as Dr. Donohoe’s and others will pay off in more ways than one. And babies like Foster will benefit too.
Copyright 2017 Anne Sommers