Holiday 2019 Wish List: The One Thing We Wish All Working Parents Knew

Working parents sharing child care responsibilities

Recently, a nervous mom-to-be wrote Slate about her future life working and parenting. Her husband wanted to alternate schedules so they wouldn’t need outside help; she called herself “desperate for daycare.”

“Almost every mother I talk to tells me about how difficult it is to send their child to day care and how it’s best to care for your child yourself,” she wrote. “But I need to write my doctoral dissertation, and I’m worried that won’t happen if I’m caring for an infant.

“I am afraid my work is going to get pushed to the side. What would you do?”

Slate’s answer warmed our hearts. 

“I wish I could yell at the mothers who tell you it’s ‘best to care for your child yourself,’ wrote the Care and Feeding expert at Slate. “There are great day care providers out there. And parenting an infant is a 24/7 task, so you’ll absolutely still be caring for your little one plenty.”

Amen.

What All Working Parents Should Know 

Caring for families takes many forms. And in this day and age, when unemployment is at rock-bottom, and women risk hundreds of thousands in lifetime earnings (and so their long-term financial futures) by opting out of those first five years, the economy needs every working woman on deck. Besides, stay-at-home moms alone don’t raise happy children; happy moms do (whether they stay at home or work). 

“Maybe it’ll help to hear that when my younger son came home, my husband and I maintained an arrangement not unlike the one your husband is proposing,” continued the Slate author. “It was only weeks before we realized it just wasn’t workable. We sent our little guy off to day care where he was loved and well cared for seven hours a day so we could do our jobs. I hope you have as great an experience as we did. (And I hope you kill it on your dissertation!).”

We second that! And for good measure, we’ll add this, from Working Mother, showing all the great things terrific child care does for our kids. 

Finally, as we make our way through the holiday season 2019, and begin the third decade of the Millennium, we offer working parents everywhere this one wish:

To know unequivocally that using great child care to go to work and earn money and save for college and put food on the table and be a role model…is, in fact, taking great care of your children. 

Happy Holidays!

A group of business women leading a meeting together.

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Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

December 12, 2019

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.