Parenting is one of the toughest jobs on the planet. Add in a full-time job, caring for your spouse, ailing family members, home repairs and more, it can seem like life never ends. It’s overwhelming and downright unmanageable.

This story gave me all the feels as Bernie Reifkind, a Recruitment Executive, explained what happened with his employee, a mother, who was up all night caring for her sick child.

“Silently she was sobbing at her desk, early at about 7:45 AM. I asked her if everything was OK? She told me that her child was sick and that she had been up all night. Bags under her eyes.

I asked her “So, what are you doing here at the office?” She said that she had run out of “sick days” and could not afford to miss another day.

I sent her home and promised that she would get paid. In addition, I wrote her a check on the spot for extra money to alleviate her immediate financial worry. She was incredibly grateful. To this day, she is my best employee not just because of her talent but her loyalty.”

This is more than a story of kindness, it’s bringing much-needed awareness to employers. It’s showing how workers should be treated. I’ve had employers in the past who were super supportive of parents and workers, while others could have used wake up calls.

On top of all normal life pressures comes the stress that you can’t call off work when needed without being docked pay or maybe worse…being let go.

Reifkind wrote,

“Employers, please understand that most people are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.

Burning the candle at both ends. Trying to make ends meet. Kids, homework, spouses, significant others, elder parents, mortgage payments, auto repairs, etc.

The relentlessness of life.”

He has it right. Life is relentless. All employers should take stock in their crew and provide a little extra care for parents.

With the rising statistics of mental health issues —primarily depression and anxiety—employers need to consider a gentler environment. One that fosters caring and empathy. We spend most of our life at work, it should feel like family, right? And the result can lead to longer retention and loyalty.

He continued…

“PLEASE reassure your hard-working employees that their jobs are secure, whenever possible. This will, undoubtedly, come back as very good karma for employers.

To this day, she is my best employee. Not just because of her talent but her loyalty.”

Many businesses are changing their ways through more vacation and sick time and simply a “Hey, go home early.”

And thanks to people like Bernie, we (as employees) can have a happier life.