Team Parenting

In Tuesday’s post, I compared parenting to a job. In this post, I want to talk about how you and your partner function as a team to raise your kids and run a household. There are a lot of different versions of team parenting, mostly the concept of including grandparents, teachers, babysitters, other caregivers, and coaches as your kid’s “team” to help support their development. TEAM is also an acronym in our Hunt, Gather, Parent review. But for this post, I am exclusively talking about the primary parents/guardians and we’re keeping on our career goggles.

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Coffee Chat: Parenting as a Job

In March, I went through a job transition. To figure out my next career move, I weighed the options with Troy; should I find another full-time job? Do I need a full-time job? Do I pivot to a different industry? Is it necessary for me to stay-at-home?

In my job search, I looked for the following: competitive salary and vacation time, hybrid scheduling but mainly work from home, travel is a plus, retirement matching, and hourly flexibility to accommodate for my family’s schedule. If I was getting really picky, I’d go for summer Fridays and complimentary meals like at Google. Honestly, I was looking for perks that let me be as available as I could with my girls while still giving me a salary, exciting responsibilities, and time to myself.

They always say that being a parent is the hardest and best job there is, so I wondered what it would be like to be a stay-at-home during my compulsive LinkedIn browsing. It’s estimated that the average SAH parent does the equivalent of three jobs, and if paid to scale, would make over $100K per year. Working parents are at their salaried jobs for 40+ hours/week, and then come home to “the second shift”. Yes, everyone’s family is different and how they manage their lives and raise their children is completely personal. But what would happen if we started applying our job search standards to parenting?

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Old School Skills/New School Tech

Growing up, it seemed like we had a lot to accomplish. It wasn’t just about manners or good grades, but mastering day-to-day skills by a certain age or we were doomed. Can you hear it now? “If you don’t learn this, you won’t make it as a grown up.”

In fairness, these skills were necessary to participate in daily activities at the time. We needed to know how to tie our shoes by the age of 5 or we ran the risk of tripping over ourselves. We had to know who to read an analog clock or we would miss the bus. 

Now, we have a good amount of tech that has replaced a lot of those hard line demands that we had as kids.

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Coffee Chat: Old Enough

Have you ever seen videos of Asian kids coming home from school? Like this one.

I find these fascinating. Yes, the appliances they have look incredibly simple and efficient (and make me want to buy them), but can we talk about these kids? They seem way too young to be that impressively responsible. I couldn’t picture my 5-year-old prepping dinner or cleaning the house all by himself.

So, when surfing through Netflix shows to binge, I assumed Old Enough was the same thing.

Old Enough (or My First Errand in Japan) is a reality show featuring kids between the ages of 2-5, running their first independent errands throughout town. Despite our initial cringe of SENDING THESE KIDS OUT ON THEIR OWN for the sake of entertainment, their adventures are carefully planned and approved by their families well in advance. If anything were to go wrong (like missing a bus stop or walking home in the dark), the camera and production safety crews are ready to intervene. The show’s intention is to witness and celebrate these little kids as they accomplish something for the very first time. Although the tasks are fairly simple, it’s hard to imagine our own kids taking on the same challenges by themselves with no supervision.

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Child(ish) Reads: Mother Brain

One of the things we love writing about at Child(ish) Advice is not only the practice of parenting but the science behind it. When Mother Brain popped up in my forthcoming Audible titles, I immediately pre-ordered it. A perfect title that fit right into our wheelhouse.

This book explores how children physiologically alter our brain. People have been giving birth and having families for thousands of years and yet we have a societal expectation that runs contrary to how we biologically adapt postpartum. Part-science, part statement; this book brings some much needed knowledge to how we care for ourselves post-baby.

Mother Brain: How Neuroscience Is Rewriting the Story of Parenthood by Chelsea Conaboy

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