I have just watched a programme on BBC2 called Babies in the Office. It is about a company in the UK called Addison Lee allowing their staff to bring their babies to work in order to save money on the ridiculous expense of childcare, and to integrate work and home life more efficiently.

It was fascinating viewing and a lot of the issues raised are dealt with in my film Babyhood. In fact, I took my baby to work with me while I filmed the interviews with the contributors for Babyhood, and mostly I managed to time it that my son had a nap, but if that didn’t work you can hear him in the background! It really made me adjust my behaviour accordingly. I slowed my approach down, made decisions about what was important and what really didn’t matter, and generally lived balancing them both – my desire to create a film and his needs as an 17month old baby…It was hard, but no harder than finding ways to occupy a baby anyway, ask any stay-at-home mum…

What i think it highlighted was the need for community to come together to help families look after their babies. Sarah Hrdy who wrote a book called Mothers and Others argues about the importance of co-operative childcare in our evolution (the biological term being “alloparental care” – childcare beyond mother and father). Just watching the office scene’s there is already an amazing amount of support for the mothers and children from their colleagues. We need to live in a society that embraces all aspects of life, not compartmentalizing each element. No wonder first time mothers feel so isolated.

The programme also told us that this is something that is already being done in the US, and is a growing trend. It seems as if there is a zeitgeist building, and gathering momentum which gives me a great deal of faith in human spirit.

Well done addison lee! It makes me like you more as a company! I will definitely use you in the future now! Well done for piloting it and i hope a few more UK companies will adopt it’s policies.

Here is an article from the BBC about eight other solutions to our childcare issues – have a read…

BBC News – Eight radical solutions to the childcare issue.