Who does not know it, especially now in the Corona time. You want to do justice to both your work and your child, but on the one hand you have to deal with reservations within the company and on the other hand with a lack of childcare. Not everyone has a tolerant boss with a correspondingly family-friendly mindset or a helping family nearby. And there you go, the desire for compatibility. The woman stays at home and works reduced hours or not at all for a longer period of time. It sounds striking, but unfortunately it is statistically proven. Is this the solution that will satisfy everyone in the long term? Is that what we want as a society and a modern family? Is this really how we imagined it when we were studying and taking our first career steps?
We are not concerned here today with the big family-political topics or whether family is a private-economic total loss or that the founding spirit lies fallow due to a lack of childcare. There are other platforms for that.
What we want to do today is to point out a few solutions on a small scale. So that you don’t have to choose between work and family, because both are important. For mothers and fathers. Without ending up in the mental load.
Solutions from the employer
Check with your employer. The fathers too. Especially if you still have parental leave, it is essential to stay in contact and ask in good time (!) What options there are for parents. Nobody will offer you the solution on their own. And as you know, asking doesn’t cost anything. Your only really win. Because many employers have employee programs or can even claim a subsidy for childcare for tax purposes. An individual solution that can be regularly adapted to the situation would be ideal. Dare to do it or, if necessary, get support from an expert during the discussions.
Solutions in the family council
basics : Talk to each other about a fair division of labor. Structure and communication are extremely important! If possible, before the child is born, so as not to fall into old roles.
Clarify details on a weekly basis:
In the home office, there is a clear separation between work windows and entertainment. If possible in separate areas of the apartment or outside (e.g. in the coworking space or on the office day). Take turns with your partner or friends. Of course, it is much more difficult to implement for single parents. But the grandparents or friends can also be integrated into the care village. Look around you, for example, for a grandparent service.
Online solutions for at home with supervision
In addition to the home office, digital childcare can also be a solution for medium-sized children. Better than educational TV or YouTube. Also often paid for and supported by the company for 1-3 hours with fun factor without leaving home. Usually experienced coaches take care of a small group of children with specific tasks.
Online solutions generally without support
Classic external solutions when there is no day care center
Taking a babysitter (short-term care) or a nanny (long-term), who ideally can also go to the playground, is the most obvious of the external solutions if the above options don’t work or are sufficient. Often associated with annoying searches, casting and constant changes if you don’t go through professional agencies. The latter is recommended and much fairer, as not only is the quality significantly better, there is no illegal work and the supervisors are also insured (liability, health insurance, pension …).
Alternative external solution up to the start of daycare
Have you ever heard of coworking with children? Such coworking spaces have an attached children’s area, which is separate from the workplaces, meeting room, etc. You can work professionally and know that your children are in loving hands nearby. And that can usually be booked for 1-2 hours. There is a safe environment and lots of fun for the children. You get used to outside care and at the same time group socialization.
The costs can either be borne by the employer (at least in part) (at least 150 €) and / or tax deductible – both coworking (100%) and childcare (up to 4000 € / year).
TIP: The youth welfare office usually covers the costs for childcare if the little ones are over a year old and there is no daycare place.
CONCLUSION: With a little creativity in the search and individual combination of the various options mentioned above, the compatibility for families can be made possible. The stress level falls, you have several pillars. Everything can be planned more reliably.
And that demonstrably increases not only productivity but also satisfaction.
And we not only survive Corona, but (he) may find a new future for work.