How Successful Working Parents Keep Their Careers On Track

Strategy 1: Think about your day-to-day life

Child-care decisions affect daily routines, and small annoyances add up. I adore my children’s preschool for many reasons, but a key selling point is that it is half a mile from my house. A mere 10 extra minutes per commute of driving would add up to nearly two hours of additional car time per week; 15 minutes adds up to 2.5 hours—the weekly quantity of time the CDC tells us to exercise.

For many parents I interviewed, this focus on day-to-day life pointed towards choosing child care that came to them (that is, a nanny) rather than the other way around. A physician in a two-physician couple told me, “Switching from day care to a nanny has made our lives so much more relaxed and pleasant. Instead of rushed mornings, we get to sit with both little ones eating a leisurely breakfast. We never have to worry about waking kids in time to leave.”

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Life is not always easy for working parents. Managers sometimes treat people as less committed to their jobs just because they have kids, and school hours seldom align with workplace ones. Society could do a lot more to help people balance work and life.

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