The Work-Life Equation: Ep. 22 Building Your Parenting Village
The proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child,” is no joke.
What happens when you suddenly have to work late and can’t pick up the kids? What happens when your kid throws up at school, you’re in the middle of a meeting with the higher-ups, and can’t bail to go get your child? What if your child has an end-of-year recital and you can’t be there because you’re on a work trip? What happens when it’s school vacation week and the kids are home, but you didn’t draw the straw to have that week off from work this year?
Those are just a few examples of the scenarios working parents face as they scramble to figure out child care. The best case scenario? You have a Rolodex of people — aka “the village”— you can call that can show up at the last minute to help you out. Oh, and they’re all people you absolutely trust with your kids. That would be amazing. But maybe the more likely scenario? You don’t have a full Rolodex and you’re tearing out your hair once again trying to figure out how to cover an unexpected child care gap.
Here’s where Daisy Dowling comes in. She’s worked in human resources in the high-powered NYC financial world, and she’s seen the scramble play out in many different ways. She started an organization that helps parents and companies redefine the work-life equation, and she writes for the Harvard Business Review. Her advice? Build that village from the very beginning. It takes work. It takes time. But if you have it, it will make an incredible difference in your life. She says the village can consist of family, friends, neighbors, even colleagues. YOU might even be the village for someone else. If you build in those many different people to help your family from the very beginning, they will be more equipped to help out when you suddenly need it, and you won’t be left scrambling.
It’s a realistic look at how this can work. It’s not easy, but it’s achievable. Take a listen, and see how you might be able to craft your own village.
I’m Naoko, graduate of the two-under-two club and producer of The Work-Life Equation podcast series. I’m constantly searching for the perfect balance point between work, life, parenting, friendships, and playing sports. I’m not a good sleeper, never was, and now will NEVER BE but I’m so in love with my incredibly fierce duo!
What to Read Next:
- E-news: Parenting Tips for a Simplified Parenting Philosophy
- Family Room blog post: What Did I Really Need as a New Mom?