By Wendi Shapiro
From one working parent to another working parent and/or caregiver, I see you… and all the working parents at Allison also see you. We celebrate you on Sept. 16 (National Working Parents Day) and every day!
As working parents, we all know the juggling act of skillfully balancing career aspirations with the responsibility of family life. This is a formidable challenge – one that can be made easier with a supportive work environment, a partner who shoulders half of the household and parenting responsibilities and, let’s face it, a willingness to make mistakes, learn from them and move on.
However, as working parents, we’ve learned to compartmentalize and avoid mentioning caregiving duties altogether in the workplace. This can leave us feeling as if we don’t bring our authentic selves into the office each day. According to a survey from the Family Caregiver Alliance, 73% of the workforce identify as caregivers, but only 56% of them say their work supervisor is aware of their caregiving responsibilities. Why the disconnect?
From the struggle of childcare to the constant mental reminders of to-do lists permeating into time that has been blocked off for Work (capital W), we often feel like we’re surviving when we really want to thrive.
So, let’s just decide together it’s OK that sometimes family comes first and sometimes work comes first. It’s OK to decide that perfection is not the goal. It’s OK to eat cereal for dinner and put on a movie when your kid is home sick when you have an important virtual meeting. It’s also OK to really love your work AND your kids, put them to bed and then open the laptop to finish an assignment you left on your desktop because you had to drive to karate.
We see you working parents, and we salute you (just not with confetti poppers, because that’s impossible to vacuum out of the carpet).
Happy Working Parents Day!
Wendi Shapiro is the General Manager of the Los Angeles office and co-leads the Allison+Family EAG. She has 20+ years supporting consumer brands with breakthrough creative ideas and agenda-setting headlines.