Designing Women S4 E16 Extra Sugar - Working Parents: The Kid/Career Circus
Updated: May 22
Poor Charlene is up a baby, but down a nanny in this week’s episode of Designing Women. As Sweet Tea & TV’s resident working mom, Nikki will try to fulfill her moral obligation to highlight the challenges working parents face in today’s workplace, as well as some of the policies that have changed the experience, and some that can change the experience. And, of course, we can’t skip a couple promising tips to give working parents some hope.
Our references for this episode include:
Forbes article about the state of affairs around working parents and how employers can help
Pew research summary of data on the self-reported experiences of working parents and another Pew article on parenting in America
Institute of Women's policy research summary analysis of data from the 2018 American Time Use Survey looking at the parity (or lack thereof) between men and women in household duties
Study on “the childcare conundrum” for working parents
The Best Place for Working Parents' summary of best workplace policies to support working parents
Come on y’all, let’s get into it!
Speaker A: Hi Salina.
Speaker B: Hey Nikki.
Speaker A: And hello everyone and welcome to this week's edition of Extra Sugar.
Speaker A: So in the last few episodes of Designing Women, we've gotten a glimpse at Charlene's experience balancing her career at Sugar Bakers with her newest career, parenting.
Speaker A: In this week's episode she shared that their nanny quit and she needed to bring Olivia to work.
Speaker A: So being the resident, quote unquote, working mom on sweet tea and TV, it felt like my moral obligation maybe to cover the experience of working parents.
Speaker A: So this week's, extra sugar is called working parents.
Speaker A: The kid career circus.
Speaker A: And I feel like we have talked a few times off air about the irony of me pulling this segment together.
Speaker A: It was just apologizing to Salina if it doesn't make sense or if something feels half baked.
Speaker A: That would be the let me see, what did I call it?
Speaker A: The Kid career circus in action.
Speaker B: It's funny that you say that because I was going to say it has got to have to do with the culture and it's really their fault if it doesn't make sense.
Speaker B: And the fact that we're not achieving a better work life balance for everyone, but especially parents, the work culture, like the American culture, exceptionalism and just push yourself till you die.
Speaker A: Yeah, I think that's a little bit maybe beyond the scope of this segment.
Speaker A: Maybe, I don't know, maybe it's baked in there.
Speaker A: I think that some of it is I always struggle because some of it is your own personal choices.
Speaker A: We all make choices and so there are some choices parents make that make it harder on them and there are some choices that are taken away from us and we don't get the choice and it makes it harder on us.
Speaker A: So it is like everything in life, it is this constant balance.
Speaker A: So let's talk about what we are going to cover in this segment.
Speaker A: And I think, like I said, some of that may be baked in and I'm just processing it in real time.
Speaker A: We want to talk about a brief history of parents in the workforce, particularly the impact of all of that on women because that's my experience.
Speaker A: So that felt like the closest thing that I could tap into.
Speaker A: I want to talk about three policies that have changed life for the better for working parents and then three policies employers can implement to help.
Speaker A: And then I want to offer a couple of tips for parents who are just trying to survive.
Speaker A: I know we have some awesome international listeners.
Speaker A: So I want to note my segment is based on the American experience.
Speaker A: You just tapped into this a little bit, I understand that is very different from the international experience.
Speaker A: So I would love feedback from international listeners on their experience on working and parenting.
Speaker A: Like if this what I talk about today is so wild to you, you can't even fathom it.
Speaker A: I want to hear that if what I'm talking about today is not that dissimilar from the international experience, I want to hear about it personally and also because of the podcast.
Speaker A: And then before I start, as always, this segment isn't intended to other anyone or make anyone feel left out.
Speaker A: So what I am not doing with this and I want to be very unequivocal about that, because Salina is not a working parent.
Speaker A: I am a working parent and I'm not trying to stoke a competition.
Speaker A: I am not trying to say life is harder or easier on anyone.
Speaker A: I've lived both experiences being a working parent and not being a working parent.
Speaker A: And I can confidently say there's enough misery to go around.
Speaker A: We are all unhappy in our own ways here, here.
Speaker A: So it's really just intended to focus in on the experience of working parents because that ties into this week's episode and that ties into my personal experience.
Speaker A: And then my last note, because, you guys know I have all these caveats, is that I'm trying to be gender inclusive where possible.
Speaker A: Understanding that working and parenting is challenging for all parents, regardless of gender, sex, sexual identity, any of these things, it's challenging.
Speaker A: But there are some obvious gender imbalances that we have to talk about.
Speaker A: So I want to touch on those where appropriate.
Speaker A: So if you're still listening, if any of this still sounds valuable with all those caveats, let's dig in.
Speaker A: And I have a lot of stats, but I tried to boil them down so I'm not just throwing numbers at you.
Speaker A: So Salina, don't break your brain trying to remember the numbers.
Speaker A: I'm not going to test.
Speaker B: No test.
Speaker A: I'm not testing you.
Speaker A: Probably.
Speaker A: Maybe.
Speaker A: Let's see if I decide to do a grit splits.
Speaker A: So parents in the workforce.
Speaker A: So I found a Pew article that said the share of two parent households in which both parents work full time has increased 15% since 1970.
Speaker A: So it's up to 46% from 31%.
Speaker A: Following that trend, the share of households with a father who works full time and a mother who doesn't work outside the home has nearly halved in that same time period.
Speaker A: So just one quarter of households fit this description where the dad works full time and the mother does not work outside of the home.
Speaker A: That's compared with almost 50% in 1970.
Speaker A: So we went from half of households with dads outside the home, moms not outside the home, to just 25%.
Speaker A: So we're following this trend that women are entering the workforce.
Speaker B: Yeah, I'm a little surprised it's a quarter.
Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, just based on people I know.
Speaker B: So that's surprising to me.
Speaker A: There were a lot of statistics that surprised me a little bit, and this next one is one of them.
Speaker A: So when it comes to the lived experience of working parents, just over half.
Speaker A: So 56% of working parents say balancing home and family life is difficult.
Speaker A: Who is that?
Speaker A: 40% of parents who don't think it's difficult.
Speaker A: That's who I want to talk to.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker B: What are their tips?
Speaker A: What are their secrets?
Speaker A: I don't know.
Speaker A: When you break that number down even further, 14% of parents say it's very difficult to balance both, while 42% say it's somewhat difficult.
Speaker A: So the experience is shades of different as well.
Speaker A: Working moms are somewhat more likely than fathers to report difficulty balancing the two, particularly moms who work full time.
Speaker A: 20% of working moms say balancing work in home is very difficult for them.
Speaker A: That's compared with 12% of dads who work full time and 11% of moms who work full time.
Speaker A: Beyond balance, there's career progression, with 41% of working mothers reporting that being a parent has made it harder to advance in their career.
Speaker A: Just 20% of fathers say the same.
Speaker A: I talked about this in the main episode.
Speaker A: In my experience, part of this imbalance has to do with the default parent and the concept of mental load.
Speaker A: So the Pew article says that about half 54% of families with two working parents report that the mom takes on a disproportionate share of family duties, making appointments, making schedules, et cetera.
Speaker A: About 47% of those of people say this is true as well when the kids are sick.
Speaker A: So that's what I mean by default parent.
Speaker A: That's the concept of like the one parent who just does things like, you know, the kids dental appointments coming to you.
Speaker A: So you just schedule the appointment.
Speaker A: If someone's sick at school, you're the one that gets the phone call.
Speaker A: You're the one that keeps the family calendar.
Speaker A: The data support that that is traditionally the mom's role in the family.
Speaker A: These things also fuel mental load.
Speaker A: So this is not database, but many women I talk to, if you ask them what's on your mind, they've got a list of things.
Speaker A: So they've got a grocery list, they've got remembering to remind their partner to pay the yard guy or checking in on their parents or checking in on their partner's parents.
Speaker A: That is what is called mental load.
Speaker A: It's this load of things that's in your head all the time, regardless of this is true whether you have kids or not.
Speaker A: And I think in particular for moms that's very true.
Speaker A: And then relevant to mental load, in my opinion, is household chores.
Speaker A: So those things we do just to keep our households moving along, again, that's relevant whether you're a working parent or not.
Speaker A: But I just happen to have statistics around it for working parents.
Speaker A: The Pew article says that most parents in a two working parent household say the mother and the father share tasks about equally when it comes to household chores and responsibilities, disciplining children and playing or doing activities with the kids.
Speaker A: However, an Institute for Women's Policy Research analysis of data from the 2018 American Time Use Survey shows that among adults age 15 and older, women perform unpaid household and care work amounting on average to 5.7 hours per day, compared with 3.6 hours for men, according to the article.
Speaker A: That means on an average day, women in the United States spend 37% more time on unpaid household and care work than men do.
Speaker A: And so then of course, if I remind you there are only 24 hours in a day, you're automatically giving eight to ten of those to your employer.
Speaker A: Hopefully you're sleeping eight of them.
Speaker A: Conservatively, that means you get about 8 hours extra time.
Speaker A: And if women are spending 5.7 of those doing chores and other care work, that's just not a lot of time.
Speaker A: No, it's just not much free time.
Speaker A: Another component of mental load is worry.
Speaker A: So of course, parents just generally worry about their kids.
Speaker A: And that's bad whether you're a dad or a mom or any kind of parent.
Speaker A: And then we have fun things like pandemics which exacerbate these concerns.
Speaker A: So I found another Pew analysis of 2023 data which found that mental health tops the list of worries for parents.
Speaker A: In fact, four in ten US parents with children younger than 18 say they're extremely or very worried that their children might struggle with anxiety or depression at some point.
Speaker A: 35% are similarly concerned about their children being bullied shootings.
Speaker A: Unsurprisingly are also near the top of the list, along with worries about their child getting pregnant.
Speaker A: And then there are other stressors too that are not about their children but related.
Speaker A: So things like childcare availability and affordability, the economy, the housing crisis, the list just never sort of ends.
Speaker A: It almost feels like you got to.
Speaker B: Shut off the valve, which is super hard.
Speaker A: It's hard.
Speaker A: I was talking with someone actually yesterday about we both have children starting kindergarten in the fall and I have the benefit of having already had a child in school, in public school for a couple of years.
Speaker A: So we were talking about that a little bit and they were sharing their fear about shootings in school because it's just gotten so outrageous.
Speaker A: And this year actually is the first year that I've been a little forced to not compartmentalize it because they've made structural changes to the school to prevent shootings.
Speaker A: And this is an elementary school, so it used to felt so accessible, the school did.
Speaker A: And now they've done things like add an extra entrance in bulletproof glass to provide a little extra insulation.
Speaker A: And so I think in some ways I really got slapped right in the face with it.
Speaker A: It's been sort of this nagging mental load sort of worry.
Speaker A: But I'm forced to compartmentalize it because it's almost like I couldn't function if I thought about my child all day at school and thought about a kid bringing a gun in and some of the absolute carnage that we've seen in the last couple of years with these stories.
Speaker A: And so this person that I was talking to was like I just don't know how I'm going to send my child off to school in the fall and not think about that all day long.
Speaker A: You have to just compartmentalize it.
Speaker A: It's a tactic that is not easy, but it's the only way to survive.
Speaker A: It really is.
Speaker A: I don't know what else to do.
Speaker B: Right.
Speaker B: It's weird.
Speaker B: When you said something about and worrying about your kid getting pregnant, I'm like, it's weird that that slipped down the list.
Speaker A: Pretty far down the list, actually.
Speaker B: There's a lot more going on.
Speaker A: It feels like that used to be the fear, like when we were coming up that was sort of like pregnant.
Speaker B: It'S fine, but you're still alive.
Speaker A: And what does that say?
Speaker A: So you just said, like, shutting off the valve.
Speaker A: And I think compartmentalizing is part of it, but another part of it is that in a lot of instances, the pressure is just forcing people to quit their jobs.
Speaker A: Like, that's the valve they're shutting off.
Speaker A: So more than 15 million US.
Speaker A: Workers have quit their jobs since April 2021.
Speaker A: 45% of those surveyed said needing to take care of their family was a key factor in that decision.
Speaker B: Are you going to say something about women specifically?
Speaker A: I'm not.
Speaker B: All right, let me just throw in then, that at some point during more of, like, the height of the pandemic stuff, I am almost sure that I read an article where they were talking about women specifically with this, because women, to your point, that you're already making, not universally, but frequently become the caretakers for their parents, for everyone.
Speaker A: And they're making less than men.
Speaker B: Yes.
Speaker B: And and it was saying something to the effect of so many women had left their jobs that the number of women in positions had dropped levels we hadn't seen since, like, the 1980s.
Speaker B: What?
Speaker A: Yeah.
Speaker A: That's nuts.
Speaker A: Yeah.
Speaker A: There's also more data that finds 83% of millennials will leave one job for another with stronger family policies and better family support.
Speaker A: So in some ways, I feel like our generation is sort of putting the line in the sand and saying, like, cool, I'll just go somewhere else.
Speaker A: I'm not worried about it.
Speaker B: Sure.
Speaker A: So to me, it sounds like it may be time for employers to adapt and make it, I don't know, just ever so slightly easier for working parents.
Speaker A: I found an organization, workplace certification called Best Place for Working Parents.
Speaker A: This becomes a little bit of a mouthful, so I'm really going to try to deliver it the best I can.
Speaker A: But what they try to do is improve the uptake of key policies that can make life better for working parents.
Speaker A: So the policies that they promote actively, there are ten of them.
Speaker A: They're company paid healthcare coverage, paid time off, parental leave, breastfeeding benefits, best Place designation.
Speaker A: So that means being designated as an organization that they say is a good place to work on site childcare, childcare assistance, backup childcare, flexible hours and working remotely.
Speaker A: So in that list.
Speaker A: You heard me reference childcare three times four if you count parental leave, which I think is partly relevant to childcare.
Speaker A: I'm pointing that out because a McKinsey Institute Marshall Plan for mom survey found that 45% of mothers with children aged five and under who left the workforce during COVID-19 cited childcare as a major reason for their departure.
Speaker A: So that was 45% of mothers, compared with just 14% of fathers who said the same.
Speaker A: So this is sort of getting at that point you were making about women leaving the workforce.
Speaker A: Additionally, 24% of the mothers with children aged five and under said they had considered reducing their hours and moving to a part time schedule, compared with 18% of the fathers.
Speaker A: So affordability, reliability, quality of childcare are key concerns, among others.
Speaker A: So that Best Place for Working Parents organization notes that when businesses provide childcare for their employees, employee absences decrease by 30% and job turnover declines by as much as 60%.
Speaker A: So I also mentioned remote work and other flexible schedules.
Speaker A: I think that's particularly important in a post COVID world, but it's already proving beneficial for working parents.
Speaker A: So according to a study by Kinder Care, 69% of working parents feel that they've been able to be more involved in their children's lives because of more flexible work schedules.
Speaker A: In all my research, I stumbled on two very specific policy shifts that fit under this umbrella that I found particularly fascinating the concept of school days to match work days.
Speaker A: So most school days go from eight to three, but work days go from nine to five.
Speaker A: And particularly after my kids started school, I kept thinking, like, what am I missing?
Speaker A: I've worked with people who work till 05:00 p.m..
Speaker A: Did their kids not get off school till five?
Speaker A: What am I missing?
Speaker A: And I kept feeling like, how am I supposed to make this work?
Speaker A: So I couldn't figure out, do I hire a part time nanny?
Speaker A: Because I don't want a nanny for a long time.
Speaker A: I want to spend time with my kid.
Speaker A: You know what I mean?
Speaker A: So you're only talking about a couple of hours.
Speaker A: I don't love after school care because again, for me, the schedule I work, it's only like 30 minutes to an hour that I need childcare.
Speaker A: So I just felt like, what am I missing?
Speaker A: But really, it's just the system doesn't work.
Speaker A: The system is built against us.
Speaker A: So if a school day is eight to three, they're arguing a workday should be eight to three.
Speaker A: Make it easier on parents.
Speaker B: Yeah, eight to three.
Speaker A: The other policy that sounded cool to me was a mid career sabbatical.
Speaker A: And I don't have much detail about this here, but what they talked about was whether you have kids or not, ideas.
Speaker A: And whether you have kids or not, your midlife becomes a squeeze because that's when you're starting to take care of your own parents.
Speaker A: That's when you're starting to feel a little bit of burn.
Speaker A: A little bit, a lot of bit of burnout from having worked at that point for half your life, you need that time.
Speaker A: So mid career sabbatical sounded really cool.
Speaker A: So who's doing it right?
Speaker A: According to Great Places to Work, the top five large workplaces for working parents in 2022 were Cisco Slalom Consulting, Hilton American Express and Comcast NBC Universal.
Speaker B: What was the second one?
Speaker A: Slalom Consulting.
Speaker A: And then the top five small workplaces were Greenhouse Row, Jobbit, Ripple and Maven Clinic.
Speaker A: So if I remember correctly, the Small workplaces, because those are names I do not know, because they're small workplaces, they're a little more regional or state specific.
Speaker A: Several of them were in the It kind of area of the world, which tends to be more progressive when it comes to these things.
Speaker A: She says knowingly because I have someone who happens to work in the It world, several of them that were that and then I think at least one was like project management consultant sort of stuff.
Speaker A: So if you're not lucky enough to work at one of these companies and you're waiting for your workplace to get on board with some policies that would actually help you, what's apparent to do?
Speaker A: I really wanted to make this sort of action oriented, so I found a lot of lists with really trite unhelpful tips.
Speaker A: So I kind of went through those and was like, I don't want to say these, I can't say them with a straight face.
Speaker A: Being Try Harder and being a working parent, I can't say some of those things with a straight face, but there are a couple that I can say that I've tried and do help me when I can really stick to them.
Speaker A: So like making a plan.
Speaker A: Making a plan for your plan and then making a backup plan for your backup plan.
Speaker A: Just having plans.
Speaker B: What was that thing you said about mental load?
Speaker A: But if you don't the flip is so many balls drop.
Speaker A: Sure.
Speaker A: So it's sort of like scheduling for your family and your life.
Speaker A: Making sure you know who needs what when and what's due when.
Speaker B: When does your daughter need her Spanish material?
Speaker A: I had that in here actually.
Speaker A: At one point Salina got copied accidentally on a calendar invite.
Speaker A: I had to remind myself to pack her Spanish materials every Tuesday night, y'all, like clockwork.
Speaker A: We had a little bit of an incident, but I've talked to people who didn't realize the school was sending calendars.
Speaker A: They didn't realize the teacher had been emailing them.
Speaker A: These things are going to like junk folders or they're just like not reading their email.
Speaker A: Those things are actually really helpful.
Speaker A: They do like our teacher is really good about saying they need a white t shirt and they need it two weeks from now.
Speaker A: So as soon as that email comes in, I make a note to myself, buy a white t shirt and I try to put it with a trip somewhere else where I need something else and sort of getting all those things in one place.
Speaker A: I'm also going to say here, calendars are not gender specific, so anybody in the family can keep a calendar, amen.
Speaker B: Have a child or not.
Speaker B: I just have to pause to say that my favorite thing that Casey does for me, who is a wonderful human.
Speaker A: Being and he's the reason that we.
Speaker B: Have lunch today, so I want to be very clear about that.
Speaker B: But on the other hand, he often will ask me to remind him to do things and will not set a reminder on his phone.
Speaker B: I literally cannot understand that.
Speaker B: I'm like, well, why?
Speaker B: He's like, I just can't ever figure out how to turn it off.
Speaker B: I think you can figure it out.
Speaker B: No, man very smart.
Speaker A: Man very smart.
Speaker B: Just saying.
Speaker A: I think they think and this is going to be very gendered because again, that's my life experience.
Speaker A: I think men have a perception that there is something amazing happening up here in our heads that cannot happen in their heads.
Speaker B: Something amazing happening right here exactly all the time.
Speaker A: I do think there are some executive functioning skills that women tend to have disproportionately over men.
Speaker A: And I think there's probably a little bit of nature and nurture happening there.
Speaker A: I think they just never were held to the same standard that we are and so they don't have those skills.
Speaker A: I am trying to change that with my son, God bless him.
Speaker B: Round and round.
Speaker B: Exactly.
Speaker A: This is why parents are so important though.
Speaker A: And I know there are some people who will say, look, it's so hard, just don't have kids.
Speaker A: But the generations need to continue and someone needs to keep things going and better.
Speaker A: It be the people who want to make it better.
Speaker B: I'm like, it ain't going to be me.
Speaker B: The world would just die out, guys.
Speaker B: So go ahead and thank Nikki, she's keeping the world going.
Speaker A: So the second tip I had is just make your life easier.
Speaker A: So this one's really hard.
Speaker A: And I'm not suggesting this will work for everyone.
Speaker A: There are financial implications to some of this.
Speaker A: So hear this tip with that in mind.
Speaker A: I'm not saying everyone can afford to pay a cleaner to come to their house, for instance, but if you can consider it, I have one come every six weeks.
Speaker A: She comes just about the time I've fallen off the wagon in terms of cleaning, it is not cheap, but it is also not the most expensive thing in my life.
Speaker A: So there are other places I cut so I can afford that because that really does make my life easier.
Speaker B: Well, and I think the larger point there is just like getting things off your plate, look for the ways to exactly do less.
Speaker A: And in that same vein, these are all sort of interrelated, but part of making life easier is like thinking about things that will help future version of you.
Speaker A: So for instance, I meal plan on Thursdays for the next week's.
Speaker A: Dinners and lunches and stuff because it's easier for me to know this week what's for dinner next week than get to next Wednesday.
Speaker A: Not have any of the ingredients, not have any idea what to do.
Speaker A: At least I have a plan.
Speaker A: Like Salina said earlier, my tip of setting reminders on my phone for Spanish Club materials.
Speaker A: That way I don't get to Wednesday with my daughter in Spanish Club upset because she doesn't have what she needs.
Speaker A: We are trying to teach them those executive functioning skills too, of course, but some of it's my responsibility at this point in their lives, so I have to remember those things.
Speaker A: The other thing that was interesting to me is explore adjusting work habits themselves.
Speaker A: This has never occurred to me, to be totally honest with you.
Speaker A: As a working parent tip.
Speaker A: I think it's like something I've thought about before, but my day gets so chaotic that I don't even structure it this way.
Speaker A: But scheduling your most important work related tasks for really early in the day because it eliminates the need to scramble at the end of the day if something with childcare or school or whatever goes awry.
Speaker A: So I've had several days that have been just totally thrown because I had to go get a kid early from school or I had to do whatever.
Speaker A: And so if I had just done the important thing at the beginning of the day, that would have been better.
Speaker A: And I tend to approach my day that way.
Speaker A: Like if I have to make a phone call, which is really challenging for me, just personally, like make an appointment or something, I do try to do that earlier in the day because I'm more likely to do it.
Speaker A: But it just had never occurred to me actually to think about my schedule and try to get those meetings in early in the day.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: And then lastly, I just want to say, and this is not data based, it's not anything other than just my own personal experience, but have realistic expectations.
Speaker A: You're just one person, you can't do everything.
Speaker A: It might be worth considering whether this is the moment to lean into your career.
Speaker A: Maybe it's okay to just keep things kind of moving for a bit.
Speaker A: This one's really challenging for me.
Speaker A: And I actually just really recently had a pep talk from two more experienced working moms in my life.
Speaker A: And I think I sort of had thought I had kind of gotten past the hump of having kids.
Speaker A: So it sounds so silly when I say it out loud, but I thought, my kids are sleeping through the night.
Speaker A: They're both in school consistently.
Speaker A: We're not in a pandemic anymore.
Speaker A: There was a period where my kids were home every day for a year.
Speaker A: A three year old and a four year old while I was working.
Speaker A: That to me, it doesn't get harder than that.
Speaker A: So in my mind I had sort of crested and like, okay, Nikki, it's time.
Speaker A: Like, you don't have an excuse anymore.
Speaker A: And I said that out loud to someone recently and they laughed at me and they were like, oh my God.
Speaker A: I didn't lean back into work till my kids were ten and eleven.
Speaker A: Both of them.
Speaker A: Like, I had one and then I had the second one.
Speaker A: Wait till they get ten or eleven.
Speaker A: And that was sort of it was crazy to me.
Speaker A: And I tend to be the hardest on myself and I tend to hate myself a little bit.
Speaker A: I'm having to like, we talked about this recently.
Speaker A: I have to look at my life and say, like, why do you hate yourself?
Speaker A: I don't know why.
Speaker A: I don't know why I do these things to myself, but I'm giving other parents this pep talk the way I am myself.
Speaker A: It's okay for work just to be the thing that you go for your 8 hours and then you're done.
Speaker B: It's like it's just a paycheck.
Speaker A: It's like it is.
Speaker B: I don't even need a kid to need that pep talk either.
Speaker A: Right.
Speaker B: That's something for everyone.
Speaker B: Because I think it's really easy to be hard on yourself no matter who you are.
Speaker B: I am going to gender it.
Speaker B: I'm going to say especially if you're a woman.
Speaker B: I think I've met plenty of men in my life who think they're just doing very swell.
Speaker B: So I will tell you that for me it's a little hard.
Speaker B: I'm sitting over here and I'm biting my tongue until it bleeds.
Speaker B: Because I get to be an observer with parents and I do see the moms under the crushing weight a lot.
Speaker B: So sometimes and this is just me, this is not Nikki.
Speaker B: If you notice that imbalance in your relationship, no matter what genitalia you have, maybe do more, try harder, be better, be a good partner.
Speaker B: I'll just share one more thing too.
Speaker B: So I'm not a parent, but I was a child and my mom was a single parent.
Speaker B: And that's the real sorry.
Speaker B: But it is like I saw my mom struggle in ways I've never seen another human struggle in my life.
Speaker B: There wasn't always someone to lean on at all.
Speaker B: And that was really tough to see her go through that.
Speaker B: And it does matter.
Speaker B: All of these things matter a whole lot.
Speaker B: And I just want you to know, I just want to take the time to say that I respect you so much.
Speaker B: I also appreciate that you don't want to make people feel a certain way, like if you don't have kids.
Speaker B: But I can totally recognize that you have more on your plate most days than I do.
Speaker B: I just recognize it.
Speaker A: Thank you.
Speaker A: And you also reminded me of a caveat I meant to include, which is that this.
Speaker A: Did not even touch on single parents and how hard it is for them because it is that's okay.
Speaker B: I'm here to bring that perspective for my mother.
Speaker B: For my mother and the other single moms that I've seen or single dads do it a lot.
Speaker B: And I do think it does tend to lean towards more towards the single mom still.
Speaker B: But certainly there are single fathers out there and they're out there killing it every day and working really hard for their kids and working really hard to bring up humans and that's a big deal.
Speaker B: And I'm sorry I cussed I didn't mean to it's just like that's how passionate I feel about it.
Speaker B: It's how passionate I feel when I've seen parents just really under the gun.
Speaker B: And I just have so much compassion.
Speaker B: There's nothing I can do.
Speaker B: But I have so much compassion for them because they're doing a big job.
Speaker A: It is.
Speaker A: And the other part of all this without getting too personal is that I do have a very 50 50 sort of partner and there is still imbalance which he and I both recognize.
Speaker A: I think it's obviously more obvious for me, but there are a lot of times where he doesn't even some of the mental load stuff, you can't know that without being in someone's brain.
Speaker B: Absolutely.
Speaker A: And so sometimes I do find myself just having to unload a little bit just to say like this is what's up here.
Speaker A: And he's like God, I didn't even know you were thinking about that.
Speaker B: That's right.
Speaker A: And so we had a dental appointment situation recently where our dentist shut down or they moved to they lost their location near us.
Speaker A: They offered us to go to their other location which was at closest 30 minutes away.
Speaker A: And I'm not doing that for a kid's dentist appointment.
Speaker A: Sorry.
Speaker A: There are too many dentists between here and there.
Speaker A: And so that was one of the things every now and then I just have a thing where I'm like I can't do it, I can't do it.
Speaker A: So he just figured it all out and he did it.
Speaker A: And sometimes for women it's challenging for us to let it go too and lose some of that control.
Speaker A: And I would just say to women sometimes look at yourself too and think where can I let go of a little control?
Speaker B: Or maybe how can we think like a man?
Speaker B: Yeah, that sounds nice.
Speaker A: Oh, he helps me with that a lot.
Speaker A: Especially in my career.
Speaker A: There are a lot of times he says like if you did that like a man, this is what you would do.
Speaker A: And so then we have to have a conversation about why it's not okay sometimes for women to do things the same way men do it and it won't be perceived the same way.
Speaker A: But there are sometimes where he gives me really good tips that I'm like dang, that works.
Speaker A: Why didn't I do that?
Speaker A: Why do I hate myself?
Speaker A: Yeah, so that was a lot.
Speaker A: A little bit of a brain dump in a way.
Speaker A: But I would just say to working parents, hang in there.
Speaker A: Prioritize your time with your family.
Speaker A: Set reasonable boundaries with your employer.
Speaker A: Don't feel guilty about it.
Speaker A: Don't ever feel guilty if you're sitting there enjoying time with your kids or with your partner or with your family, and you feel a tug that you should be at work, because this is time you don't get back work.
Speaker A: There will be another task, there will be another project, but you're not going to get your five year old sitting in front of you, telling you how much they love you.
Speaker A: It just won't happen again.
Speaker A: And then my last thing that I will say, and I hate this one so much, but prioritize time to take care of yourself.
Speaker A: It's a circus.
Speaker A: It can't run without the ringleader.
Speaker A: And if you are just like haggard and at the end of your rope, then you can't do it.
Speaker A: You can't keep up.
Speaker A: So try to take care of yourself.
Speaker A: I hate that tip, because in what time?
Speaker A: When am I going to do that?
Speaker A: But there probably is time.
Speaker A: You just have to find it.
Speaker A: So this has been this week's extra sugar.
Speaker A: As always, remember, you can follow along with us, engage on Instagram and Facebook at sweet, TNTV TikTok at sweettvpod.
Speaker A: And on that website you can find ways to support the show from our Support US page.
Speaker A: You can also just tell your friends and your family about us and rate or review the podcast wherever you listen.
Speaker A: So come back next week for a brand new sweet tea and TV take on Designing Women.
Speaker A: And this has been this week extra sugar.