Parenting logistics—why are they such a nightmare?
Lately I’ve been fielding a lot of questions from people about what to expect in the shift from non-parenting to the parenting world. Personally, I find it really challenging when people smile at you and say things like, “Wait and see,” or “You’ll get it when you become a parent.” No, thanks—please tell me now!
So for this episode, I decided to dive straight into the daily tangle that is the parenting logistics required of managing small humans. It is in these daily nuances—and the morning pitter patter of tiny feet—that our work lives and our careers begin to explode.
But I don’t think it’s parenting that’s the problem. I think that we’re suffering from an urban design problem, from a lack of steady and consistent child care options, from a radical change in the makeup of what families look like, and from a work world that has slowly encroached to take up nearly all of our available hours yet pay us less over time.
No wonder it’s not working.
If you feel like parenting logistics are driving you insane, or the commute to schools are making you cross-eyed, or if you hear another snide remark from a colleague about how you’re not devoted enough to your job, this episode is for you.
IN THIS EPISODE WE COVER
- The nitty-gritty of the morning routines, the parenting logistics of childcare, commutes, and the after-school routines.
- Why school schedules are such a logistical nightmare.
- What’s changed about the American family and why having two working parents changes the game.
- What the work world is asking for, and why it’s designed based on the “Ideal Worker”—A.K.A. a child-free, single, unobstructed male.
The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #139
SOME QUOTES FROM THE EPISODE
- Six months of paid leave for the arrival of a new child should be the standard. It should be a no-brainer, because of the recovery time for the mom and because of the adjustment period and the learning curve of a new child and the long-term health and wellness implications for everyone involved.
- Want to reduce healthcare costs? Provide paid leave and better prenatal care. Wildly better outcomes for everyone.
- I don’t know many people that are able to do 90 days in a row of not sleeping after having major surgery, while providing for round-the-clock feeding and caring of another human being and then also be able to manage a job. It’s just a really, really impossible predicament that we put women in, yet it’s our expectation that women will jump back into work without any trouble. It’s insane.
- Work hours have gotten longer and longer in so many industries. People start by 7:00am and don’t finish emails until 10:00pm. That’s a 15-hour workday. How does parenting fit into this, at all?
- We do such a disservice to everyone by not fully being aware of what it takes to take care of a child and what a child schedules are like.
- I’m so over seeing photos of women on laptops with their children nearby. This, to me, is not aspirational. It’s a huge fucking problem of inadequate childcare options and not understanding or being realistic about what it takes to have children.
- It’s like we have this cultural cognitive block about really thinking about what happens after maternity leave and into how children are going to change and affect our lives. We’re so scared that we’ll be dinged for “not being able to do it all” that we insist that truly, we will be the ones to excel and persevere if only we just have the right systems and tools. Of course our lives will change.
- A full 30% of talented women who want to work drop out of the workforce, not because they want to, but because the advent of parenting and working is untenable. They can’t find childcare, their work isn’t supportive of them, they face discrimination in the workplace, or they aren’t prepared for what’s coming.
- Universally, almost every young child wakes up between 6AM and 8AM in the morning. It’s some crazy biological clock and it means for the next ten years of your life, there is very little sleeping in. At all.
- Daycare drop-off isn’t like a drive-through. You don’t just fly through and drop your child off. Oh no—it’s way more complicated than that. Your three year old has a lot of opinions about how they enter the school and the classroom, and those negotiations can take ten minutes—or thirty.
- What’s so insidious for me is that there’s all this “non-work” time that I used to use to actually prepare for the workday. Sipping coffee in the morning, reading the news, reading blogs—I never thought any of that was on the clock. Except now when I get to work at 9AM after three hours of herding children to their various locations, I realize that my brain is scrambled and hazy, and I’m not prepped for work the way I used to be. It’s a completely different game now.
- I think one of the most boring and yet most important pieces of parenting are writing out, in detail, all of the logistics of the morning routine and the evening routine. Who gets the children? Where do they go? How do they get there? Who does the morning routine? When do you get up? What do you need to function in the morning? Does exercise happen? This dance of finagling exercise, eating, dressing, and managing four different humans in the morning is one of the things that makes modern parenting a bit mad.
THE WISE WOMEN’S COUNCIL 2020 IS NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS
Want to be part of the magic that is gathering together with smart, talented, wise business women? The 2020 Wise Women’s Council is now open for enrollment. Early bird applications are open through January 20th, and the program kicks off in March. Yes, we want you—all of you in your messy, imperfect, parenting-business-what-am-I-doing-madness. Apply here.
STREAMLINE YOUR BUSINESS — MINIBOOK
Want to simplify your business—or your life? After the birth of my first kid, I was exhausted and overwhelmed, and my current systems weren’t working. So I got out my pen and paper, wrote down everything I was doing, and cut half of it off my list. How’d I do this? By identifying the things that are the most important for business revenue, and deferring the non-essential items until later. Now I’ve got a short book walking you through the process, with key questions that help you get clarity and find a way to breathe again. Download the book at startuppregnant.com/minibooks. Here’s to small moments of sanity. We all need it!
FIRESIDE CHATS WITH SARAH—EXCLUSIVELY FOR PATREON BACKERS
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