With all the juggling working parents have to do, between holding down full-time jobs and keeping young humans alive (not to mention fed, educated, entertained and the thousand other things that go into childrearing), it's no wonder someone invented a day to recognize and pay tribute to all that hard work.
While the origins of National Working Parents Day are not readily apparent — it likely sprouted from the many hashtag holidays the internet seeded — it's nonetheless a good opportunity to celebrate the sacrifices made by working parents.
Today, it's recognized as an annual day of recognition where working parents are celebrated across the U.S.
National Working Parents Day is celebrated on September 16th each year.
|Date||Day of the Week|
|September 16, 2019||Monday|
|September 16, 2020||Wednesday|
|September 16, 2021||Thursday|
|September 16, 2022||Friday|
|September 16, 2023||Saturday|
Whether you're the manager of a working parent, work alongside one or have a friend juggling the dual life, take a moment on this day to tell them they're doing a great job. If you're in a leadership position, perhaps it's taking a moment to thank each person individually, in person or with a card. Or, it's sending a note around the office with a list of working parents and their contributions to the company.
Forge bonds with other working parents at your company. While working and raising kids at the same time is hard, not to mention time-consuming, it doesn't also have to be lonely or alienating. If you're in a leadership position, talk to HR about setting up an employee resource group (ERG) for your fellow parents where you can meet and have a safe space to discuss the highs and lows of wearing two hats. If you can't create an enduring meet-up group, perhaps taking this holiday as an opportunity to connect with all other working parents over a group breakfast or lunch outing.
This type of celebration will work best with employee input; so, see what the parents at your office would enjoy. Maybe it's a version of bring your child to work day; or, it's a half-day so parents can pick up their children from school. Or maybe it's simply a coffee and bagel morning where everyone mingles and has a chance to talk on the personal level about the trials and tribulations of juggling multiple responsibilities. Perhaps it's time to reopen discussions of onsite childcare. If any of that, or something similar is feasible for your company, send around a survey and see what the constituents would like.
Not every company has the time, resources or desires to celebrate every holiday — and that's OK. At the very least, open the dialogue so if any parent feels overwhelmed or in need of support, they know their company has their back. If you're a manager, team leader or work in HR, chat with your colleagues and make sure everyone knows what resources are available. Maybe onsite childcare is not even remotely possible at your workplace, but, a work from home day or flex-hour option is.
At the end of the day, it simply comes down to taking care of people. When your employees have children, that's part of the package. That means understanding that things come up, like doctor's appointments, recitals and games, not to mention, caregiving can come in all forms (not just with children, either). When you create company policies, try to include multiple perspectives to make the most inclusive working environment possible.
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