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Juggling Work and Childcare in the Modern Age


Dad holding his young daughter while looking out the window

Managing between having a successful career and being a supportive parent isn’t a new struggle. This topic has simply evolved from what it used to be. It first evolved when women began to enter the workforce and the idea of the stay-at-home mom dwindled into a rarity. We’ve seen it evolve in more recent years with the uptick of work from home, hybrid, and flexible workspaces for parents.


The Modern Household

The modern household is not the stereotypical image that it used to be. Households and martial dynamics have changed in many different ways with many couples deciding not to have kids, more dads deciding to stay home, and couples adopting children at various ages. This puts the idea of who can be the one ‘at home’ or in charge of childcare on someone else other than solely being on the mother like it has been in previous generations.

How Covid Changed Everything

I don’t foresee the discussion of how Covid changed our lives going away anytime soon, especially when it comes to the role of parenting. Households had a variety of shifts during the height of the pandemic, parents shifted to working from home as their kids went to virtual learning, and sadly some parents lost their jobs. As we come out of this pandemic these household shifts may be sticking with some families rather than reverting completely back to the way it was before.


Working From Home - A New Way to Stay Home

With Covid came the introduction of working from home for many. Although some had worked from home the entire time and did not have to adjust, many companies and individuals adapted to this new form of work. This allowed parents to begin a more flexible way of working and spending time with their little ones.


Daycare - Costs vs Staying Home

As gas prices increase and it seems everything is more expensive than ever, the cost of daycare is a large chunk of a parent’s budget. This modern age of parenting has brought on parents who stay home simply because the cost of childcare would cancel out the income they’d bring in with a full-time job. Instead, couples are deciding to have one parent stay home so it’s one of them spending all the time with their kids rather than with daycare staff. There are also more companies with daycare centers in their buildings that offer discounted rates to employees to help them balance both career and family.


Modern Parental Leave

There has also never been a more relaxed acceptance of maternity leave than there is now. Previous generations were used to a typical two weeks paid leave and were expected to be back at work again after that unless they decided to take unpaid time off. Now, companies are offering as much as 6 weeks paid to new parents both maternal and paternal. While whether or not that’s completely necessary is a different debate, it’s fair to say that views on maternity leave have changed.


The modern world seems to be adapting for the good in aiding parents who want to continue their careers and still remain active in their child’s life. From the modernization of how companies handle daycare and maternity leave to the increase in working from home, new parents can feel relieved that there have never been more options for them to try to balance their new life of parenthood with their work.

 

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Written by: Jordan Basham

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