Working Parents Manage Childcare in Pandemic (Transcript)

by | Apr 19, 2021 | Transcript | 0 comments

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This podcast on childcare explores the unique pains of childcare in a pandemic from the perspective of two working parents. The past year has exposed vulnerabilities for families, organizations, and in our nation that require us to consider better practices and policies. You can listen to this podcast HERE

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Transcript for: Working Parents Manage Childcare in Pandemic

Stacy Whitenight  00:00

Hey Bossy Bees. We’re grateful you’ve joined us here today. If you’re having as much fun as we are with this podcast learning journey, we invite you to become one of our patrons. You can find a link to support our podcast right on our websites menu. Or you can go directly to patreon.com. forward slash the bossy bees. When you become a bossy bees patron, you not only get a huge dose of our gratitude, but access to exclusive content available only to our patrons.

 

Kim  00:51

Oh, childcare, I just sent mine back to school. It was really weird. It was really weird to make lunches, it was really strange. to not have them here all day. Like having to be like, stop watching YouTube. Go back to work. Yeah, and not eat lunch with them or in the dogs miss them. Like I just I missed I missed them being in the same space.

 

Stacy Whitenight  01:30

Like I was gonna say, I feel like, in a year, there’s been a lot of whiplash. Because, you know, one of my questions for you is starting off This podcast was like, What? What did your sort of work life balance look like? Before the pandemic? And then then there was like, you know, I think everyone would probably agree that like the immediate sort of closure of everything was chaos. I don’t want to rehash that drama. No. But like, even, you know, mid 2020. It was at smooze. You know, because mid 2020 brought summer. And summer wasn’t summer camps, like we knew them to be. And I mean, I didn’t send my kids do any that I can recall. They didn’t go to any summer camps. My kids were home all year.

 

Kim  02:30

Yeah. I. So I want to say for me. So you and I are in this really interesting space and time because mine are what my youngest just turned 10. And your youngest is four. So like, the biggest gap is six years. And because I have twins, and the oldest, it’s really only 20 months. I had they’re all kind of playmates. And at this age, you know, they can get their own snacks, eat their own breakfast. Like, start the morning really easy. So like my mornings were so much easier because I wasn’t trying to get three kids out the door, make sure everybody’s brush their teeth and comb their hair. And everybody has socks and shoes on and homework and school supplies and lunches packed and, you know, so I wasn’t doing this, like crazy morning routine that I’ve been doing, pre pandemic. And I gotta say, like, I slept more. And because I was spending so much more time with the kids. I felt less of that mom guilt about being like, No, I’m, I’m not going to play basketball with you know, I’m, I’m not going to watch you build your Lego like?

 

04:07

Well, I think, you know,

 

Stacy Whitenight  04:10

I would probably argue that working moms take the brunt of that not only the teaching part, because we had to become home schoolers for quite some time. I would argue that it’s probably working moms or moms that took the brunt of that, of managing that and that, that really, you know, like you want you I would personally much rather go out and play basketball, then manage the homeschooling, but then I would much rather be outside doing those things with my kids. But then all of a sudden, all of my time with them was being consumed by homeschooling and I didn’t, you know, then I didn’t have the time to go out and do those fun things like play basketball, or retrieve shoes from the roof. So, I, you know, that was really hard It really for me, you know, I did get to sleep longer because we weren’t, you know, driving two kids to school every day. It was just the one, you know, in the fall. But I mean, we suffered in so many different ways I really changed sort of the dynamic in our household. You know, I felt like I became a lot less fun. And it just, I need these kids to go back to that’s all I have been saying for months. Like, I I can’t be all of those things like managing, you know, managing the house managing my own job managing their homeschooling when I’m not, you know, I have a master’s in education. But I am not equipped to be a school teacher.

 

Kim  06:17

No, nurse years are much smaller. I mean, your littlest is four going on five. Yeah. And the other one was mostly six during the pandemic, correct? Yeah. And, and that’s wrong. And it may need that interaction, and they need the guidance and the change in routine, like every 15 to 20 minutes. And that exhaust?

 

Stacy Whitenight  06:46

Oh, yeah. So I did see, you know, and I did see a statistic that, you know, support my speculation. And women working moms really taking the brunt of the work. And it was something like, it was like, one in three women aren’t working because there’s no childcare?

 

Kim  07:11

Yeah, no, I totally blows up,

 

Stacy Whitenight  07:14

as opposed to 12% of men in the same age group. So that is remarkable. And and now we’re really starting, you know, and that was some time ago, that was like the late 2020s. But now we’re starting to see the fallout of that with all of these women actually having to leave the workplace. And what’s really scary, you know, they’re having to leave the workplace for multitude of reasons. But I suspect, oh, really large piece of that, obviously. I mean, I don’t even suspect I know that a large piece of that comes from all of these childcare centers that are usually women owned, having to shut down because there’s no small loans to bridge them. There was no small loans available to bridge them during these closures. So we have all of these childcare centers that have closed, especially if they’re not publicly funded. And now women are leaving the workforce at a much higher rate than men.

 

08:19

Because of it, I mean, yeah,

 

Kim  08:22

I mean, I striking, totally agree with that. And that. And when you talk about bearing the brunt of, of just the tasks and duties in the organization. Yeah, I mean, I cleared my morning schedule, I took the bulk of when the kids needed the most attention for their schoolwork when they were doing at home school. Yeah, that was me. But I luckily was in a position with the job I had at the time where I could just be like, this is what I’m doing. And that’s all you’re getting from me. Luckily, I had a job that I didn’t have to attend to so much like in that first four hours of the morning so that I could focus on learning the new math and, you know, understanding what the kids were doing from a literacy standpoint, and making sure they weren’t goofing off and looking at YouTube. It was. It was hard in that sense. Where I was not working in the morning, working in the afternoon working at night. And I know you and I talked about this earlier, like every single minute of my day was accounted for every single day.

 

10:02

Yeah,

 

Stacy Whitenight  10:02

I mean, I’m, I’m still, I’m still there, you know, our school, for my oldest is not quite back in session yet or in the classroom. But they’re, you know, for the, you know, as I tried to hold out, you know, and weighing the risks, and who I wanted to see, continue to kind of be around outside of, outside of, you know, our bubble or within our family bubble, like, including you guys, you know, sending my youngest back to school who’s in daycare, essentially, um, you know, I couldn’t, my sanity couldn’t handle it anymore. And I really had to sort of really assess the risk of sending him back into the classroom or into daycare. And that those options, you know, we were very fortunate to have enrolled in a private daycare. But looking around the city here, I was shocked and alarmed, and I knew the bottom was gonna fall out. When I started to see how limited the numbers were, obviously, you know, to reduce the risk, you know, we had to, it’s not like we had a choice. But, you know, there’s no way I just kept thinking like, how fortunate I was, and that I did have the opportunity to send my youngest back into the classroom, one not only for like my sanity, and being able to have a little bit more attention on the oldest one and getting his schoolwork done. But you know, the reduced classroom sizes, like enrollments going down, I just remember going into the fall thinking, this is going to be a huge problem. And I’m starting to see, you know, I’m not, I’m not seeing some of these childcare centers open back up. And I know, I mean, and you know, who it affects, it affects black women and Latino women, Latino women, disproportionately so. So, you know, I just, I keep going back to that, and reminding myself like how hard it was, and like, we’re starting to come out on the other side. But that’s just my perspective, and how I see it. And I have to keep reminding myself, like, it’s not, we’re not really back to normal yet. And I’m now really starting to get that sense as I look at summer camp. And fortunately, you know, my kids are in a year round school, but so my summer time is a little bit shorter, but I see, I don’t have as many options as I want to add to, to get them into summer camp, and I really need them to be there because I have to, I have to get back to work. Like I need my time back to start doing, you know, focusing on my career again, in a timeframe. That’s not like 10 o’clock at night anymore. It’s exhausting. I’ve been doing it for a year, just like you have, you know, those those hours that used to be like, for me at 10 o’clock at night or nine o’clock at night or after dinner, our makeup times for doing you know, my my full time job.

 

Kim  13:37

Right. I mean, I will tell you this from from the time I had my first child and through this pandemic, and now the United States just is not set up to help families thrive. It really isn’t. And I I remember just struggling so much with childcare, right out the gate, in terms of like just feeling like I wasn’t enough anywhere. I was right. Like I wasn’t enough of a mom to a newborn. It wasn’t enough of a mom you know, or wife or an employee at the time, right? Because I was like, How am I supposed to come to work, do my work? You know, pump, like be in the office, race home to be with my child. And then you know, pull the laptop out again. How do you connect with your spouse? How

 

14:53

do you

 

Kim  14:55

take the time to be present for your kid or kids And it was just so overwhelming. And I’m like, No, this, this nation, for all of its well, like we do a horrible job supporting parents or caregivers in general. And I really think people on the elder care side of it now are really, really seeing that, again, like you saw it when you were trying to raise kids. And now you’re seeing it as your parents are heading towards end of life. Right?

 

Stacy Whitenight  15:32

Yeah, the quality quality child care, quality, ageing care, you know, on those two ends, we really are seeing how bad it is. In the United States. How bad our perspective is, our policymaking is for those things. And it’s not surprising, because I mean, to let’s be honest, like child care is not seen as an educational opportunity. We don’t even prioritize education in the United States. And it’s not seen as an educational opportunity and essential service. And it’s seen as a private responsibility.

 

Kim  16:26

Right. Right. Which is, which is fascinating to me. Because when you think about, like, Social Security, right, so how we fund people after retirement and towards their end of life is all based on who will couple up and who will produce children so that those children can earn money to fund social security? Like it’s all established on on us, quote, unquote, doing our part, right, having kids getting jobs, the whole system can fund itself.

 

17:09

Right.

 

Stacy Whitenight  17:11

And it is not working.

 

Kim  17:13

No. And not only is it not working, but like when your words like where, you know, it’s a personal decision. Yeah, I get it. It was a choice for me to have a child, you know, to be blatantly honest, if I lived in a state where they were trying to outlaw abortion, well, then no one be a choice, would it? Right. Well, I guess there’s always abstinence.

 

Stacy Whitenight  17:41

Right. That’s realistic.

 

Kim  17:43

Yeah, totally. Totally realistic. But, I mean, if you think about it, like it’s a it’s a public issue, it’s a it’s a national issue. I mean, it’s about the care and quality of the citizens. And I’m like, we can put a rover on Mars, but we can’t figure out childcare.

 

Stacy Whitenight  18:08

Right. It’s a critical service. I agree. It’s a critical, it is a critical surface. That doesn’t, that’s not being supported at the level that it needs to be. And certainly there are things that are subsidized, but it’s not enough. You know, just in the pandemic alone, the cost of preschool, the cost of running a safe environment for safe preschool environment went up by like, 50%. And that’s not being subsidized. That’s, that’s too, you know, what do you use was to ask all the people that are out of jobs now to take on that expense. It’s something that’s just really, really broken with our childcare system, and it’s not working for me, and I have a lot of access, and I have a lot of privilege. And I, it makes me sick to my stomach to think about families that don’t have that. And I see it, I see it, you know, I go to my kids go to a public school, and I’m talking to parents fairly often and listening to, you know, our city, you know, meetings that are held within our city council and issues that families are bringing to the table within our city and it’s not working at all.

 

Kim  19:34

So the two things that go together are availability of childcare centers, so places that are within a proximity of your home or your work, that where you can have your child looked after, in addition, is government assistance and when I say government assistance, I’m Not talking welfare, I am talking like subsidies just like people get tax breaks, or, you know, we give subsidies to farmers, we can be giving subsidies to parents. It’s one of the biggest things coming out of the recent bill that passed was

 

20:20

I did see that

 

Kim  20:23

was that they can potentially lift? I mean, what was the percentage of children out of poverty?

 

Stacy Whitenight  20:32

And I think the numbers are there, whether it’s executed or not,

 

20:40

is a different question.

 

Stacy Whitenight  20:44

But yeah, I did see that. Something similar to that, you know, at the time they were talking about, alright, if we can lift if we can, if we can get this package out with at this number, the economists are like, this is possible, this is possible we can we can lift these kids out of poverty in this way we can we can increase the quality of childcare, we can recover this childcare crisis in in these ways and these public spaces. So that would be again, I I’m excited to see it if it’s executed well, because the bill did pass with those asks.

 

Kim  21:27

Yeah, and I just, I mean, we subsidize so much. I’m, so I just really need to see how we’re going to help families. I mean, it makes no sense to me that we can do all these amazing technological and scientific, you know, discoveries and transformations. And yet, we’re still having the same childcare problems that our parents had.

 

Stacy Whitenight  22:02

Yeah, the policies aren’t there. I think it’s a couple of really big things. But the, you know, if we really want to change what childcare and our childcare system is, in our nation, there are a lot of things that have to happen. And it’s really, really in the policy. I’m excited, you know, that the bill passed and everything, but to me, it’s a band aid. It’s a band aid fix, it’s temporary, and it’s gonna, you know, if we’re hit with another pandemic, or crisis, again, we’ve slide right back into the situation of we need a, I hate to call it a bailout. But that’s what we need, you know, because we didn’t fix the system. And that’s, that sort of transformation has to happen through policy. You know, kind of going along with what you were saying as well.

 

Kim  23:03

Yeah, I don’t know. Like, when I just think about the frustrations with childcare. And then when I think about, you know, okay, what, what is, what’s our goal and mission with these podcasts? And I think about that, and I’m like, Okay, how do I want to participate? with this? What can I do individually, um, the first thing is at work, like, I have stopped pretending that my kids don’t come first. Like, if I’m in the middle of even a training, and I have a child that is in crisis, that’s in tears, that is upset, I’ll stop the training and say, Okay, we’re going to take like a two minute break, I’m going to figure out what’s going on and I’ll be right back. Like, that’s, that’s my reality, especially with the kids at home. Right.

 

Stacy Whitenight  24:11

My, I don’t even get an opportunity to say that my kids just come bursting into my, into my workspace. And you know, I see it happening a lot at me off, you know, in the sort of work environment, and I do not apologize and people do apologize to me and, and I say no, just you know, I have a co worker, you know, even just like a week ago, a co worker, his daughter, we know waddled in she’s like, barely two years old. And, you know, he was so apologetic and I said, Why don’t you just hold her if she’ll just sit in your lap and, you know, that’s all she wants to do. Just have her sit in your lap. Like your, your, your partner. You know, obviously he’s doing something else at the mall. That she waddled in here. And she’s not disrupting anything. We’re just casually talking about this project. So let’s continue on, and she can sit in your lap. And he’s like, really? And I was like, Yeah, like, this is reality. And we’re, if we can’t adapt to that, if we, if we pretend to be these, like wonderful multitaskers, and all of these other ways, and part of our multitasking isn’t prioritizing our families, and our kids, and those type of things like then, then it’s all kind of BS coming from work,

 

Kim  25:36

right? Like, I think the we’ve managed to demonstrate I can work from home with three kids and my dogs and all this chaos and still do a great job. Maybe Maybe not like, excellence, superior work, but a great job.

 

Stacy Whitenight  25:59

Yeah, and I would say, in the same pattern that no one is 100%, running at 100% of the time, right? Like that’s unrealistic. And I think that we need to adjust those expectations as well. You know, in a performance review last year, like towards the end of the year, it was like, well, it’s not 100%, I’m like, well, the day you show up 100% 100% of the time you let me know, and I was kind of like, I don’t care, I don’t care, because it’s not, I’ve done really, really well. Right, whatever you want to write in that performance review, to middle fingers up to you. I have been doing way more than I ever have done in my life. And that manager at the time did not recognize that. And I, quite frankly, was in no mood to explain to defend myself because I knew where I stood. And if she didn’t see that without me walking her through, because she knew exactly like I had two small kids and doing all kinds of things, you know. And in fact, I would say that I excelled in a lot of ways starting up a DNI community, a small DNI community at work for Latina women and trying to develop leadership skills like I had done quite a bit. And it was kind of like, well, it’s all right.

 

Kim  27:35

No, I so know what you’re saying. Like, one of the biggest reasons that I made an exit from my last job was I just remember, this was, Oh, goodness, probably after the holidays, but I was just worn down. I was just worn down. Right? Like, just exhausted, I had been working full time, I have three kids that have been home. I have a mom I’m trying to care for that lives across the country for me, you know, a full house to keep up with cooking, cleaning, you know, all of these things. And I’m running these programs, I am transforming the way this company is going about their business for learning and development. And somebody said, You’ve been really grumpy lately. And that was the good to review. Yeah,

 

Stacy Whitenight  28:41

they get to middle fingers, too. Here’s my

 

Kim  28:44

you find a little negative. Well,

 

28:47

don’t you?

 

Kim  28:49

Don’t you care about my mental health? Why don’t you start there? You say you care about my mental health. So why don’t you ask me? Are you okay, Kim? That was an asked it well, you’re, you’re grumpy. You’re not in a positive space right now. And I was like, wow, you do not care about me at all.

 

Stacy Whitenight  29:19

And I think that is where we have some control. When those situations crop up. You know, they’re pretty jarring at first, and they make us take a step back. But we do have the power to say,

 

29:37

Hmm,

 

Stacy Whitenight  29:37

hold up a minute. You know, I’ve been doing all of this, like, I know where I stand. And then you can make the decision whether or not to say I hear what you’re saying. I am grumpy. Here’s why and why. Like, what’s your deal like that? You can’t take the time to ask me why I am I’m being grumpy, that that’s the only thing you see. Like how narrow minded a view,

 

Kim  30:06

right? And I’m thinking if this were one of my employees, like somebody on my staff or on my team, or a peer that was going through this, and they were negative or grumpy all the time, I would pull him aside and be like, Hey, is everything okay? Can I help you with something? Not? She needs a performance improvement plan? Because she has that resting bitchface

 

30:38

Oh, no, not that again.

 

Stacy Whitenight  30:42

I, it is really, you know, I saw a lot of that. And that, you know, that speaks a lot to psychological safety and why it’s so important to have that on a team. I think it’s such a critical building block, to having a productive team as making sure that you have, have the right levels of psychological safety on a team so that someone can feel safe enough to say to their co worker, or their boss, I’m dealing with this and and know that there’s no consequence. And that just most workplaces, most teams, don’t think about that kind of stuff. And they’re really looking for driving just the outcomes, and looking at the products that are produced. And it’s a really just a really dangerous point space to be working in, to produce produce produce at the expense of people’s mental health, psychological safety. And truth be told, you know, when you have those things, you do produce better work, we’ve talked about that before.

 

31:58

Absolutely.

 

Stacy Whitenight  32:00

And you know, it, when when you don’t have it, people leave, people leave, and they close up, they you don’t get, you don’t get their best work. I mean, you know, because when they do when they’re ready to show up at 100%, you know, because they’ve been working at 20% or 10%, for a couple weeks, you know, they’ve been like, dragging their kids back and forth, you know, for whatever reason, once they’re back to 100%, it looks, it looks, and you know, it, if they have the time to recover, to get to 100%, they’re going to be there longer. You know, and those dips and valleys aren’t going to be so dramatic all the time. You know, won’t be 10% to 100%, you know, every month, it’s going to look more like, oh, they’re normally at about 70%. And that’s all this team really needs. And sometimes they get up to 100. And sometimes they’ve dipped down to like 50, you know, in the middle of summer when they’re on vacation?

 

Kim  33:06

Oh, absolutely. I mean, one of the best things I read was in a training that was either about building trust or high performing teams. And it it talked a lot about building teams and doing work together. And collaboration. Like Yes, it’s, it’s typically about the end product, right? The the product, the process, the deliverable, but the way to get there is through relationships. And you can’t have that relationship or that emotional intelligence with, with your peers, with your staff, or your manager. If you know you’re not being yourself, and if you’re not expressing to your point, like having a safe place to be like, Hey, I’m struggling at this moment. These are the things I’m dealing with and having that flexibility to say, Okay, well, you know, what you’re working on let’s readjust the timeline. And you know, it isn’t that critical. Because I’m really unless you are curing cancer, or, you know, a heart surgeon in the middle of surgery, like is this class on you know, emotional intelligence do or die? No.

 

Stacy Whitenight  34:45

Yeah, you know, communication is such an important piece of it and and thinking about steps that we can take as working parents

 

34:58

to

 

Stacy Whitenight  34:59

help have better childcare outcomes, where we may have control and thinking about communication. Like there’s two things, there’s two things that we can do. And one is tapping into our family and friends network. You do this for me, even when I don’t ask is, is providing that good for your family and friends, asking your neighbors, just communicating and saying like, I really, really need four or five hours of work, and walking across the street to a neighbor with, you know, that you may trust or a friend that you trust and saying, Can you give me four or five hours, I really need to get this project done. That’s we have a little bit of control there. It’s not a long term solution, but it does help and it and that means a lot to our mental health to like knock those things off our list and to be able to take the space later in the day return the favor, you know that that is really important. And then the other the other issue, we need to stop, you know, tiptoeing around is compensation, and asking for the pay. And that’s it the topic topic for another day. But we we need to, if private, these things are going to be treated. You know, if childcare continues to be treated as private service, and a private responsibility, then that needs to reflect in our paychecks.

 

Kim  36:33

Oh, absolutely.

 

Stacy Whitenight  36:35

And that was one thing that I brought to the table, which was, Hey, I may not be paying for childcare right now. But I’m going to have to and, and I need to be compensated because my childcare expenses are going to look different, I have to bring someone into my home now. Yeah, and I need to be compensated as such. Because if you want me to keep working, that’s what I need.

 

Kim  36:59

It’s just shocking to me that we can’t figure this out. Or that we refuse to figure it out, is probably a better way to put it. Because Yeah,

 

Stacy Whitenight  37:11

it’s not an easy fix. And we don’t think of childcare as a public good. Policy buys. And then I don’t think that if you went around on the street and started asking people that like, is childcare a public good? Is it a public service? I would be willing to bet that that higher than 50%? Would, I bet more than half the people would say no. And that’s, and that is made. That’s what makes it hard to fix the policies around it. And so, you know, we can’t have those subsidies, we can’t, you know, we can’t ensure that childcare providers are getting higher access to higher education, we can’t ensure those things through policy if people don’t think of it as a public good.

 

Kim  38:08

Right. So I mean, even if, to your point, if you’re not willing to subsidize it for the family, then make it a good business venture for somebody that wants to provide childcare.

 

Stacy Whitenight  38:23

Right. And that, you know, that’s another thing is, you know, where policy comes into place is, is making sure, like what we’re seeing now, where these businesses are able to get small business loans. that there needs to be policy in place that can allow them to operate as such, so that then we’re not facing these massive closures and job losses, the next time that this happens, you know, policy isn’t just about creating the subsidies, there’s a lot of stuff that happens to support an industry like that, you know, making sure that people providing the service have the education and, and making it making loans available, making sure that these businesses have good business plans put together. It’s, it’s a lot of things that go into that pot. But and but, again, the public sentiment needs to change from a this is a project like this is your problem. You chose to have kids, this is your deal. You deal with that co worker. Now,

 

Kim  39:42

because people get really upset when you’re like, Okay, we are going to give these maternity and paternity benefits. And then people are like, well, if I don’t have kids, that’s not fair that I can’t take six months off and It’s like, but not every benefit needs to apply to every single person. Like, when we work together, they had a gym downstairs, what if I never wanted to go to the gym, that doesn’t mean that they should shut it down just because I don’t you didn’t know. I could run when it rained, rained inside, but not when it rained inside. Right when it rained outside, I would run into

 

Stacy Whitenight  40:28

people mistake, people don’t understand what equitable means. And so they think that when those type of benefits or services are available to one person and not the other, they feel like they missed out on a piece of the pie. And that’s not what it’s about, like this is about, you know, I talked about in another podcast, like, Hey, we’re all trying to watch the same baseball game. But the fence, I’m like, five, three, and the fence is six feet tall. Like, just having a box for me isn’t enough to see over the fence, like, we need to make sure that the fence is removed. So that nobody, nobody, nobody has problems watching, you know, obstruct, you know, this view of the game is not obstructed. And people think that just handing out boxes, to some people or others to see over the fence is the fix. But really, it’s not. It’s it’s the fence. That’s the problem, not making sure that we have the tools to see over it.

 

Kim  41:36

Right. And I just so I always want to figure out okay, well, what do we do? What do we do to help each other? Or how can we make this better? And I don’t know, because my kids are aging out of childcare, and I cannot begin to tell you how ecstatic that makes me.

 

Stacy Whitenight  42:03

And that’s, that’s not great. You know, I talked to people at work, you know, that live in different countries that live in Europe, or, you know, certain South American countries, and there are different systems that in those countries, but they and they all look a little bit different. But I think I don’t think that anyone’s ever as excited as American citizens. childcare, you know, for my cousins that live, you know, in the Dominican Republic, it is, oh, well, it’s kind of sad, because my, you know, the grandparents are available to watch the children. And that’s their special time together, or the neighbors or, you know, you know, for us, you know, we have the pod, you know, the pod of kids that we’ve learned with and as much as I’m ready to be done with teaching like, that really gave me a clue or some insight into how some other countries do childcare, as groups and friends, and they take care of each other. So that’s one thing, you know, that I mentioned earlier, it’s, it’s important to just reach out and ask, especially if other people are in the same situation. You build relationships that way. And it doesn’t always work out. But that’s one thing we can do is take care of each other. And to do that, you have to start by taking care of yourself and saying, like, what do I need to have, you know, what are my needs for childcare? And does someone else have the similar needs that we can work together? But, you know, the other thing that we can do, you know, asking for the compensation, but also, you know, something that you said is, is kind of standing your ground, you know, we’re not always in a place to be safe enough to do that. But making sure that you communicate where your priorities are, often and very loudly in saying, like, my family’s my priority, I have these kids here. They’re my priority. I’m willing to work and compromise but a group over here, you need to understand that this is my priority.

 

Kim  44:23

Right? And I think to your point, like it’s going to be placed on the person and it’s a private issue, and we have to take it to work the same way we take diversity, equity and inclusion, like with race, but it also with parenting. Right. I agree. We should have parenting employee resource groups, different options that are available, different tips and tactics and you know, as kids get older in it, it’s less about the physical care of them and more about their mental and emotional care. I mean that that gets tricky. I remember when I was working at a behavioral health company, and they would do this teaching on how to tell if your kids have started using substances, if they’re abusing substances and what to look out for. And, you know, when my kids are young, I’m like, that doesn’t apply to me. But as my kids are getting older, I’m like, yeah, that’s something that I am going to have to be on the lookout for. And having a group together that you’re working with that might have solutions, or can teach you something about it, is something that I would consider getting started at work as well.

 

46:03

Yeah, that I mean,

 

Stacy Whitenight  46:05

that would be incredibly beneficial. I haven’t seen anything like that in my work, or I have heard about, you know, external resources, they might point you externally, but people just aren’t aware of it. And a lot of a lot of these things are awareness,

 

46:25

and access.

 

Stacy Whitenight  46:28

So, I mean, that’s one thing that we can do, to be proactive in this space. And ourselves, our listeners, that sort of thing. And then when you see policies in your community, your state, your county coming up to do things like increase access, and affordability for childcare for families, like advocate for them advocate, and an advocate for, you know, childcare, early childcare, and educational professional development advocate for that financing for those businesses that are doing that are taking care of people’s children, because it is critical to making sure that our families and our community are thriving. And also it really has to do with our economy. And it affects everybody like and to sit there and say, you know, this is, does it there and say like, well, this is, you know, I’m sure there are some eye rollers for people that sit maybe on the right side of the aisle of this, but this really does impact everybody and our economy. And at the end of the day, like I really care about how I fare financially. So I need my economy, I need my economy in the United States to do well, because I do well.

 

Kim  47:55

Right? We all do. Well, if we right? If we’re all taken care of we can all do well. And I hope we can get there. I hope some day that you know, our kids aren’t having the same discussions about why is childcare this difficult. Because Come on now, if you know we can put a computer in our hands and text. I mean, we should be able to figure this out. Yeah, and make it affordable. AMEC. I agree. So we will have resources on how to get Employee Resource Groups started. We had this as part of our mom boss series, but we also will post some of the reference articles that we’ve talked about, like how other countries manage childcare and also some of the statistics coming out from the pandemic about women leaving the workforce to care likely for their kids or their elders.

 

Stacy Whitenight  49:19

Thank you for joining us for today’s bossy bees podcast. We are grateful to have you here with us today for our 11th episode of our bossy bees podcast. As to full time working parents in the middle of a pandemic. We have been feeling some new and unique pains and childcare over the past year. Kim and I are talking about the unprecedented year of childcare and a pandemic. The impact of these changes and thinking about ways we can help the community heal in the coming months and years. We are honored that you’ve decided to spend some time with us here today. There’s a lot to either unpack or discover with us keeping an honest connection and figuring out who we are. And how we’ve changed over the years is what you’ll find here. If you’re enjoying this as much as we are, we’d be delighted if you left a review and over the moon if you became one of our patrons. Don’t be shy, head over to the boss ebs.com to check out our Show Notes for this episode, to drop us a personal note, and to find more podcast episodes. In our next podcast. Kim and I are reflecting on the latest news around the royal family. As we have been reflecting on Megan Merkel’s experiences, we have come to realize just how familiar those stories have played out in our own lives.

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