Today is National Working Parents Day, a holiday to honor all those raising a family while juggling a career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 60 percent of families had two parents employed in 2020. For these working parents, the onset of the pandemic presented significant challenges.
The sudden shift to remote learning, daycare closures and other childcare issues made parenting more complicated, especially for those working outside of the home. Even parents who are able to work from home have had to learn how to balance work and childcare like never before.
“When you’re working from home while your children are also at home, it’s challenging to be an attentive parent while also doing your job,” Traci Westrem, sourcing manager at Millwood, said. “How do you give 100 percent to two things at the same time without feeling like a failure at at least one of those things?”
Millwood’s Director of Human Resources, Courtney Russell, shared a similar sentiment.
“The hardest part of being a working parent is finding time to be present with my kids and my job at the same time,” she said.
Despite these challenges, Millwood’s flexibility as a family-centered company provides many of our working parents with an easier way to balance those demands.
“Millwood makes it easier by being part of an understanding family who get the value of family that comes first,” Jenna Byler, director of marketing said. “I’ve also been able to bring my daughters into the office.”
Traci Westrem echoed the value of that flexibility.
“The flexibility of working from home relieves a lot of stress from working parents that need to stay home if children cannot go to school or daycare,” she said.
Josh Stipanovich, multimedia specialist, has taken on more of the parental load during working hours since he began working from home. Prior to the pandemic, his wife, Carrie, had a more flexible schedule and was primarily responsible for getting their children ready for school or taking them to doctors appointments. Since Millwood instituted flexible work options for corporate employees, Josh is now more able to take on more of those tasks.
“Today, I take on more of a Mr. Dad role because my wife’s job doesn’t offer the same flexibility as mine does,” Josh said. “Since I’m able to work remotely for a family-first minded company, I’m the one doing those things now. It has been refreshing to be able to be with my kids more than I was able to before the pandemic.”
Millwood’s working parents would advise anyone dealing with the balancing act of parenting during a pandemic to focus their priorities and put family first.
“Truthfully, work is important, but so are those moments where your kids need you,” Courtney said.
Jenna Byler advises working parents to be discerning in their choice of workplace, especially when their children are young.
“Find a workplace that allows you to be attentive to your family as needed,” she said. “I can’t get the little moments back when they’re babies and toddlers learning about shapes and letters for the first time, but I can manage people and lead projects any day, anywhere.”
Millwood is blessed to be the workplace of dedicated parents whose families and values further enrich our company and our culture. We wish a very happy Working Parents Day to them and to all working parents across the country.