Working parents know that balancing the myriad responsibilities of raising humans while progressing in a career involves seeking outside help. Whether you’re working outside the home or just down the hallway in your home office, finding the right childcare solution for your family can be daunting.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light just how difficult it is to work with kids underfoot.
Wrike parents face those same challenges, so we checked in with three of them to learn how they make childcare work so they can thrive in their careers. From dropping little ones to daycare to sharing a nanny, here’s how three Wrike parents are making it work.
This mom of one relies on Wrike for asynchronous work
Elisa Montanari, Technical SEO Manager at Wrike, recently returned from maternity leave after having her first child. He is now 18 months old and attends a local daycare, or creche, in Dublin. “We are just the two of us here, we don’t have family here in Dublin, so our little one goes to creche during the day,” she explained,
On typical days, Elisa can spend evenings with her son. “I usually stop at 5 pm or 5:30 and pick him up from creche. I spend the evening with him, prepare dinner, have some playtime, and then I put him to bed at around 8:30 or 9 pm.”
Of course, having a child in daycare doesn’t come without some obstacles. “It’s difficult if I have evening calls or need to finish some projects I didn’t have time to finish during the day,” she said, ”Or if he’s sick, he can’t go to creche. Those are the two scenarios when I need to juggle the most.”
"My team is spread all over the world. I work with teams in Prague, Cyprus, San Diego, and other parts of the States, so we actually use Wrike a lot for our work. We leave comments, we proceed on the projects whenever we get to it, when we have time. The collaboration side of the product really helps in these cases. You can continue where the other person has left off, or you can leave it for a few hours and then continue again."
Elisa relies on workplace flexibility to manage when there are creche closures or her son is sick: “What we’ve done so far is take some time off, usually split the day with myself and my partner. Or we take PTO or sick leave — sometimes we are also sick because he brings home every possible bug!” Elisa also works in the evenings if she needs to bring her son to a doctor’s appointment during the workday: “That’s where the flexibility in Wrike comes in.”
Splitting the daycare commute helps this parent maximize time
Staggered workdays are key to childcare success for Renee Thomas, Wrike’s Director of Customer Success for the Americas. “Before we started taking him to daycare, we didn’t have a commute because we both work from home,” she explained, “Now my husband has a morning commute and I have an afternoon commute.”
They have coordinated different start times for their days, with Renee starting at 7 am and finishing at 4 pm, and her husband working from 9 am-5 pm. “That way, my son isn’t in daycare for a really long day,” Renee said, “With my team, it’s pretty quiet in the afternoons, and I’m able to pretty much shut down notifications.”
Renee takes the afternoon daycare pick-up and tries to maximize time once her son is home for the day: “If I’m picking him up at 4 pm and he goes to bed at 7:30, I try to make the most of that time with him.”
On the inevitable days their one-year-old son is sick and can’t attend daycare, Renee explained that communication with her husband is critical to making it work. “The first thing my husband and I do is put our schedules next to each other to see if there are gaps. We can see where we can pass the baton throughout the day.” Renee then consolidates meetings in the morning hours to offer more flexibility to take over childcare in the afternoons, but she admits, “Sometimes, he just participates!”
Renee says the Wrike culture has been accommodating when those situations occur: “Our team is really great, and the level of understanding and camaraderie is really helpful.”
A nanny share is the key to success for this growing family
Customer manager Maddie Schmitt is a mom of one with another little one expected to join her family later this year. “We’re in a nanny share, we’ve partnered with another family with a little girl a little younger than my daughter,” she explained. “Together, we found a wonderful, amazing lady who is caring for our kids.” Each week, the nanny swaps which house she takes care of the kids in. “This past week was at their house, and this week will be at our house.”
Maddie said the week-on, week-off schedule provides added work-life balance to their home. “One week we can hop out and have lunch together, watch them doing art projects or dancing around. And then the next week, we have a quiet house.”
After a previous, less family-friendly work experience, Maddie has been encouraged by the family-friendly attitude she’s experienced at Wrike.
“Wrike has been a huge breath of fresh air. Everyone has been super supportive. There are a lot of parents with young children, and there's a lot of empathy going back and forth between parents.”
Maddie leverages Wrike to ensure she’s staying as productive as possible. “I have full flexibility over my calendar and I’m able to be totally in control,” she explained. “As long as I’m being productive and I can prove I’m getting my work done, my leadership is happy with how I’m doing.”
Maddie has also taken a nugget of wisdom from her role at Wrike and brought it into her role as a parent. “Something that I’ve learned from Wrike that has been amazing is to assume positive intent and not dwell when things go wrong,” Maddie explained, “You’ve got to look for a positive aspect.” In addition to making an impact on her experience working for Wrike, she has taken that tact with her daughter as well: “If they’re having a tantrum, I just try not to dwell so much on the freak-out and really try to understand what is the underlying need. How can we pivot, distract, or move to something else.”
Those are wise words we can all benefit from throughout our days working or parenting.
If your team would benefit from the flexibility of asynchronous communication and powerful collaboration, start your Wrike free trial today and discover how Wrike can help working parents make it work.