stealth parenting
(STELTH payr.un.ting) n. Performing childcare duties while pretending to be at a business meeting or other work-related function.
parent by stealth v.

Example Citation:
Dad's Army, a new study from the Work Foundation, published this week, exposes this corporate culture and the damage it does to families and the economy. It quotes one top male executive from a merchant bank cynically discussing a generous paternity leave scheme: "We're going to use it to weed out the losers." Not surprisingly, the study finds, a scheme offering five days paternity leave at another bank had not been taken up by a single employee. A leading UK headhunter is quoted as saying that whereas firms can be fairly accommodating to women with childcare responsibilities, it would be the "kiss of death" for a man to say he needed flexibility for this reason.

The result of all this hypocrisy is "stealth parenting" by fathers with any ambitions at work. They lie about "breakfast meetings" when they take their children to school and "client appointments" when they sneak out to look after a sick child.
—Jack O'Sullivan," Extinction can't come too soon for these dinosaurs," The Times, October 23, 2002

Earliest Citation:
Men are resorting to 'stealth parenting' — spending more time with their children, but inventing business meetings to cover absences from the office — for fear that admitting to childcare responsibilities damages their careers.
—Gaby Hinsliff, "New dads get raw deal from bosses," The Observer, October 20, 2002

Notes:
The study mentioned above includes a section titled "Stealth Parenting," which discusses the ruses that some employees use to make it appear that they're working while they're really parenting. The report says that while some workers (mostly female) are comfortable playing the family card — begging off a late meeting or task at work because they have to do something with the kids — many (mostly men) won't do this because they fear reprisals from their bosses. Hence the need for stealth parenting. The phrase obviously hit a nerve, because within a few days of the report's release at least a half a dozen media outlets (mostly in Britain, where the Work Foundation is based) picked up on it.

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