Contributed by Daisy Dowling, an executive coach and full-time working parent to two young children who helps working parents lead more successful and satisfying lives. She is the author of WORKPARENT: The Complete Guide to Succeeding on the Job, Staying True to Yourself, and Raising Happy Kids. We asked Daisy about the challenges “parentrepreneurs” face. Here’s what she shared:
Why should working parents think of themselves as a “workparent?”
For many years, the language I heard describing the challenge of working-and-caregiving bugged me. Terms like “balance” and “integration” seemed so high-level and euphemistic. The phrase “work/life” implied that work was somehow supposed to be completely distinct and separate from the rest of our lives and selves, which it isn’t. And while I’m very proud of being a working mother, that label felt a little tilted (after all, no one ever refers to “working dads”).
We need a single, simple, inclusive term for ourselves as people combining careers and kids. Anyone can be a workparent, regardless of gender, family structure or type of work. The term captures the beautiful, complex reality that each one of us is living day-to-day, as a whole, complete individual doing two distinct but essential roles.