Women and Business: Part-time and Wholehearted
Note: This article was first posted on the Vancouver Business Journal website and can be viewed here.
There is a greatly underutilized resource in our communities: women who want to work manageable hours while still providing a stay-at-home presence for their kids. I have been fortunate for the last seven years to work for Westby Associates, Inc., an employer who is supportive of my split priorities, offering me part-time benefits and a flexible schedule that allows me to maintain a part-time professional life while still clocking serious hours on mama-duty.
My particular formula for financial survival and sanity includes having health benefits and the majority of kid expenses covered by my kids’ dad, limited exotic travel and extra expenditures, a tribe of other trusted parent figures, and a partner who works the days I don’t. I know that I am very privileged to be able to make ends meet in this way and I couldn’t fully support my family without the more substantial income of my partner who also is able to work part-time, and just this past year was granted benefits from their employer.
The day-to-day reality of our lives involves dizzying complexity and negotiation as we pass the baton of kid care back and forth between us and dads. Yes, it is easier if just one person is responsible for getting kids to school and soccer, staying home when they are sick, dealing with feeding and cleaning. A lot of extra communication is required to make sure no balls are dropped in the daily juggling act of caring for five children. But I know for me that not having to make an either-or choice is incredibly enriching.
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Ingrid Dankmeyer is an associate and grant specialist with Westby Associates, Inc. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.