But in reality, those moments are actually incredibly stressful for parents, and a recent viral post from an HR employee on LinkedIn captures why it's important to be aware of that.
Carlie Bush, the Vice President of HR Service Delivery at Global Medical Response, shared a post detailing an interview she did with a candidate via video chat.
She wrote, "The first thing [the candidate] said was to please forgive her, she had a toddler who she hoped would be napping, but that was not the case." As they continued with the interview, Bush said she could tell the candidate was uneasy, "as her eyes kept darting to the floor and I could hear the little one wanting her mama."
A few minutes into the interview, Bush said she was feeling terrible, because she knew the baby, "who by now had crawled right under" mom's chair, wanted to be picked up. Bush wrote:
"I stopped there and encouraged her to go ahead and tend to the baby. I could see the relief on her face. I proceeded to ask about the baby and even got to see her on camera. She was beautiful and just wanted to be up where the action was. We chatted about her family, her pets, and the city she recently moved to. I told her I was happy to continue with the little one on her lap, and so that is what we did! The rest of the interview went well and she did a great job."
Bush stopped to recognize that the candidate was worried, so she took a moment to put her at ease. She talked to her about her life, and she recognized that this candidate is a human being with a life outside of work. "It's been a while since I had little ones, but I could relate as a mom how stressful it was for her," Bush wrote. "I just felt like sharing this and reminding fellow leaders how important it is to recognize the struggles people are facing and do what we can to be understanding and accommodating. Small kindnesses make a world of difference to others!"
As of this writing Bush's post has more than 50,000 likes and more than 1,500 comments. Hundreds of parents rallied around Bush's post. One mom wrote:
"When I was job hunting, I was interviewed by 2 companies one day apart. One company offered me an attractive salary and asked me if I'm 'going to have kids hanging off my arm when we have video meetings'. The other company offered me a salary that was a touch lower than the first and smiled when they got a glimpse of my baby when she woke up mid-interview and told me I can tend to her if needed. Guess which company I chose. In a world where you can be anything, be kind and understanding."
Another person wrote, "What great leadership skills you demonstrated and created such an emotional bond. Good job!"
Bush's post resonated with people because it captured a situation many parents have been in recently: you're on video, trying to manage work, but your child is crawling around on the floor underneath you. Bush showed humanity and compassion, which one commenter noted is "what is missing from business," and put the candidate at ease.
A little kindness goes a long way, especially for parents.