Q: My kids have afterschool programs, so I haven’t needed child care. But lately, the demands of my job—and frequent late nights—make it difficult to pick them up on time. I can’t afford a part-time babysitter. What do I do?
A: Sometimes we feel like everything rides on us and us alone. We forget that we can take the same team mentality that helps conquer challenges at work and apply it at home. Imagine thinking of yourself as a member of a dream team when it comes to caring for your children. Who do you want on that team to help support you in caring for your kids after school?
Is it a paid caregiver? Is it a neighbor with similar needs? Then create the team. The first step—and this is important—is to really see yourself on the team. Ask yourself what your strengths are and how you can contribute.
It may feel like more work to think of yourself on a home team at first (I already don’t have enough time,
so how can I help my teammates?), but once you switch your identity from lone player to team player, you will come up with even more ideas on how to create benefits for everyone, like devising systems for snacks, bartering, carpooling and more.
Update your identity and start picking your players.
Mary Lynne Heldmann, a high-level executive coach, is a senior consultant at the Mark Cunningham Group.