Parenting and working: A new normal

Since today is the international children’s day, we thought we would dedicate an article about kids and the work – parenting balance!

Before the pandemic

It was already hectic and difficult enough for parents, and even more so for the ones who are single! If you’re an intrapreneur or entrepreneur building a fierce career or successful business, you have probably felt the weight of wanting to have the best of both worlds. Depending on where you work you might have had issues with maternity/paternity leave or bringing your child to work. If you have your own business, of course, nobody can forbid you from doing as you please, but still, there are so many things to figure out!

Let’s not forget that it was not that long ago when the woman was the primary caretaker of the child and stayed at home. While it may seem that we have moved on far from this way of life, it has still left some heritage lingering in the corporate culture and individual people’s mindsets.

During the pandemic

During the pandemic, everything somehow flipped around and began functioning in a different direction. Some things for the better and some not. Parenting is exactly one of those bittersweet sensations. You get the blessing of having so much time to spend with your children! Yet at the same time, you also need to take on so many new roles, starting with being a teacher; and it has not been easy.

Once again, it has become abundantly clear that working parents have different needs than others. It has proven that we need smart solutions for being able to raise happy children while building the career of our dreams.

After the pandemic

What will the new world for working parents look like? What could those innovative solutions be?

We need to begin looking at the root of the problem. It is expected that working parents can work at the same capacity as everyone else. And even though some are absolutely capable of this, others need a bit more from their employer, and a general shift in the parenting paradigm.

Which things should we be discussing among each other and with our employers?

  • children at work

Now, more than ever, it has become clear that schools are the first institutions to close in an epidemic are schools. Businesses need to be more prepared to give parents an opportunity to bring their child to work or even go as far to facilitate a space for these children. It may seem difficult, however, successfully managing employees who have kids doesn’t only provide comfort to the parent, but also can help improve their business results overall!

Facilitation is not all, it is also people’s mindset and the company cultures that will need to either adjust or completely change.

  • breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is one of the most difficult taboos for women to battle when it is done in public spaces. Societies have accepted that it is not normal to do so due to the oversexualization of the female breasts, even though breastfeeding is the most natural thing! And it is even more taboo in a working environment…

There are of course many factors which again play a role – the national culture in which the company functions, and the company’s culture in general. Either or both of these elements can become extremely difficult to change.

One thing is clear – solutions are necessary! Changing the culture and giving women the physical safe and comfortable space to breastfeed are starting points in order for our societies to be able to progress and improve the quality of our lives.

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