Working Parents

So,  working and parenting are each tough enough.   Managing both together--well, XYZ [we can work on the copy later!].   We want to help you!   To do this, we've got some great initiatives under our way, to help you network and find job opportunities, develop your business or career, and do it all in a way that maximizes your sanity and allows you to enjoy and appreciate the toughest job of all, being a parent.


To get started, join PSP Career Networking to be part of an ongoing dialogue that covers each of these issues, and also check out these pages:


Unlimited Vacation Time Pros and Cons

Unlimited Vacation Time Pros and Cons Compilation 2018
I was wondering if anyone actually has experience with "unlimited vacation". When I first heard of it on this list, I thought it was too good to be true, and I was right, at least according to this article I read:>
I am wondering on average how many vacations people actually end up taking. Anyone dared to take more than 4 weeks (real ones, not work-vacations) and not fear retributions.
I worked in multiple companies that has such policy. The actual vacation length and frequecy culture varied from company to company and was just not clearly stated, one had to kind ask around to see what's appropriate. It varied from 2 weeks in a row being a very long vacation to 3 weeks + 2 weeks later in the year of being totally fine + some single days here and there.
Our company went from unlimited vacation to 20 days annually, partially because there was the perception that the policy was being violated, or at the very least being taken advantage of disproportionately. We're a relatively small team so it felt like fairness was paramount to avoiding intra-office mutiny :) 
I think the size of the team matters a lot, as well as cultural expectations (of course). We're part of an international company so in a sense it felt fair to mimic the parent company's vacation policy, but that doesn't really work in practice. 
I much prefer mandatory office closures for certain periods. My last employer had an office closure the week between Christmas and New Year's, and the thing I liked most about it is that people tended to actually travel during that time, and it felt very much like school when they returned because everyone would share stories from their time off. 
Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts. What I am still unclear about is how this unlimited vacation policy is beneficial to the employee? It is sold as something cool but so far I haven't heard that it adds value compared to the traditional way of stating plain and simple what the vacation days are. So when I am considering joining a company, I have not seen reasons to believe that as a selling point, but rather, just yet another thing to have to deal with within a company culture I don't know yet.
I must be missing something here
I like set vacation policies better, in theory . Devil is in the details. I just switched firms and my former firm cut me a check for the two weeks I hadn’t used. That meant I didn’t have a pay gap for the time I took between jobs. Very generous of them and since i’m a lawyer in a firm it wasn’t necessary since I wasn’t working at full  capacity so I felt strange taking the accrued time (but didn’t complain). I’m in an area that gives 4 weeks of vacation and assumes we are working hard when not away. If I only got a week or two then I might prefer a more “honor” system type of vacation policy. And I wouldn’t abuse it. I don’t take 4 weeks off. I take about 2
I'm currently interviewing and a few places mentioned their unlimited policy as a selling point. I would prefer a specific amount of days as well because you can get paid out when you leave. 
I generally take at least 4 weeks throughout the year because that's what I've had so far at all my jobs and most of that is to visit family overseas. 
If we got to the offer stage do you think this is something to bring up to let them know ahead of time? Since I won't know the culture and I don't want them to think I'm taking advantage once I accept. 
My experience with unlimited vacation is:
1. I am on the work-life team of our organization. Research shows that overall people do not take advantage of the policy and in fact overall people take LESS time then if there was a set policy. People NEED vacation to recharge and be productive but there is anxiety around what is the right amount of vacation to take? Most people err on the side of caution and take less in order to fit in with the culture.
2. My husband's company had unlimited vacation. Most people were taking 2 weeks or none. Some of the high powered workahaulics in the org of course are in senior management and they were not taking vacation. Employees took their cue from them and were not utilizing vacation. Now they have 4 weeks PTO and everyone uses it. 
And just an FYI, many orgs KNOW that people will not use unlimited vacation but that it sounds great on paper to millennials for recruitment. 
I have 4 weeks paid and 1 week personal and the week off between Christmas and New Year's and I use every minute of my vacation and am a really productive employee  
I’ve read analysis that agrees with the feedback above. Typically flexible vacation policies look good on paper but are less favorable for employees and save the employer money.
We went from a policy of x number of days per year to unlimited. From a corporate perspective it was good because holding millions of dollars in cash is difficult. From an individual perspective (I looked at my days off) and I'm just at 4 weeks from before and after. I also happen to have taken two paternal leave, which for me was 8 weeks each. I had less time off before the policy, for reference.
It comes to how you manage the unlimited policy. I work for StreetEasy, part of Zillow Group, and I encourage people to take time off. Am appropriate work-life balance is encouraged.
I can't say that I've observed much of a difference, though I've seen that some are able to take 5 weeks now without much issue.
I think it depends on the culture of the organization - at my company, people do indeed take 4 weeks or more of vacation. On top of the actual days off, this policy has affected the culture in that people feel comfortable working from home a lot. Now, when I consider other opportunities, if they offer 3 weeks of vacation, I feel very restricted. 
As for how an employer benefits, they do not have to pay for any days not taken and given that empirically, people do not take a ton of time off, that means they're saving money. 
I second these comments (although I worked at the same company as her!). When I started there, I thought the unlimited PTO policy must be too good to be true, but in reality it turned out to be everything I would have hoped. It definitely varied by team but I'd say I took over 4 weeks every year, and one year was 6 weeks. They had a caveat that anything over 30 days in a calendar year was supposed to be approved by your manager's manager.
I'm sure it varied by team, but with a supportive and flexible manager (and after proving your value and working hard!) it was taken seriously and I never sensed any judgment. For a while I wouldn't even consider interviewing anywhere else that didn't have the same policy. At my new job, I have 3 weeks a year and the only way that works for me is with a very flexible culture around working remotely. 
I hope to see more companies move in this direction!


Time and Sanity Saving Tips for Parents



Do you ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day? Trying to balance cooking, cleaning, and parenting in general is not an easy task. The good news is that you are not alone! The Park Slope Parents Working Moms group had a discussion of how to make life less hectic that they have found to help stave off the insanity. We have compiled the helpful tips and advice on how to balance it all while still finding time for yourself.



Q&A With a Better Balance About the New Paid Family Leave Laws in New York State

Paid family leave in New York goes into effect on January 1, 2018. And those who have kids in 2017 may take paid family leave in 2018, as long as they take leave within a year of the birth.

 In response to the many questions on various Park Slope Parents listserves, Park Slope parent & ABB Board Member Elizabeth Saylor put together the below question and answer. Molly Weston Williamson, a staff attorney at A Better Balance, helped her with this. If you are an employee or independent contractor and have additional questions not answered below, we recommend you call ABB (212-430-5982) or the state’s paid family leave hotline (844-337-6303). Employers, including household employers of nannies or housekeepers, should also call the state hotline for more information.

Elizabeth will also continue to work with PSP and ABB to answer additional questions. Hope this helps. The new law is very exciting but, as with anything new, a bit confusing.

This page was updated September 30, 2019



Working Moms Pep Talk

When one mother wrote to the group worried about going back to work, positive responses came pouring in. Here, we pulled together their replies. In sum: you got this!





Banishing Zoom Fatigue: Tips for Spicing Up Your Next Meeting

“Oops, I think you’re on mute.” “Okay, can you all see my screen?” “Please place your questions in the chat.” At this point, you’re likely all too familiar with the soundtrack of a Zoom meeting—and no, you’re not alone in your fatigue with this format. That’s why we’ve compiled suggestions from our creative community members—plus spilling a few secrets sourced directly from PSP headquarters!


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Return to Work Resources

Park Slope Parents members on our Stay-at-Home Parents (SAHP) Group have recommended resources for a parent looking to rejoin the workforce after a three-year gap.


Whether you’re a SAHP or a working parent looking to network with others in your industry, PSP has a group for you! Join our community HERE; and if you’re already a member, get signed up for the SAHP Group, Career Networking Group, or specialty career groups HERE.


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PSP Productivity Hacks

Park Slope Parents held a brainstorming session for folks to share their productivity secrets, including email hacks, hidden gems from the App Store, and strategies for staying focused.


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Supporting Your Partner During Business Travel

Leaving your family at home when you’re away on business can be a challenge. Below are tips from our PSP Dads on making things easier on your partner—and therefore on yourself as well.


Want to connect with fellow working parents? Find the Career Networking Group HERE in your PSP membership account, the Dads Group HERE, and the Working Moms Group HERE.


Not yet a member of PSP? Join us today to get connected to dozens of specialty groups for all aspects of work and life, including dozens of industry-specific career sub-groups.


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Freelancing Websites

A list of website resources for freelancers.




Talking to Unemployed People

Tips on how to talk with unemployed friends and parents.

How to Deal with a Deliquent Client

PSP member advice for dealing with a client that does not pay their invoice.




The PSP Guide to Securing Backup/ Emergency/ Last Minute Childcare

Uh oh. You’ve found yourself needing unexpected childcare. Maybe your nanny or babysitter has just called in sick or you are a freelancer and a job just came in at short notice. Or something else has come up and you find yourself needing a babysitter. What can you do?  

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How to connect your way into your next job

One parent shares her tips and resources that keep landing her new jobs.




Should I take a break from work?

PSP working mothers talk about taking a break from work. This article summarizes two exchanges on our PSP forums, one discussion (2014) with a parent working part-time and deciding whether she should stop, and another thread (2017) about one mother on maternity leave who is debating whether she should return to her job

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Freelancing and Maternity Leave

Advice for freelancers about maternity leave.




Work affirmations: "So happy to be back at work!"

 One PSP parent shared an observation to their group that kickstarted an awesome dialogue. They wrote: “Overall, it feels like the majority of messages I've received from all directions say that when you go back to work, you'll hate your job and feel distracted and guilty all day that you aren't with your baby. That it'll be impossible to be in a different location than your sweet baby angel all day. After hearing this so often, I really started to fear that I would have a difficult time when I went back to work.”




Mat Leave Tips for Motivated Moms

Do you consider yourself Type A? Have you been angling for overtime and promotions since your teenage years? Is it hard to remember the last time you took PTO? If you’re a bit of a self-professed careerist, you may be concerned about jeopardizing your professional advancement while on maternity leave. Fortunately, fellow working moms are here to offer wisdom and solace. (Spoiler alert: Yes, it is possible to take full advantage of your mat leave while still advancing in your career!)





Work, Pregnancy, and Complications

What to do when work is complicated, your pregnancy is complicated, and life just feels complicated. PSP members share their advice and experiences about navigating their employer, emotions, and the law.




WFH without childcare: Top tips for making it work

Being able to work from home during the pandemic is a privilege, but with many schools and childcare facilities closed, you may be saddled with the Sisyphean task of being a full-time employee on top of a full-time parent. Read on for some reassurance and solidarity from members who are handling the juggling act—PLUS some tips on navigating conversations around remote work with your manager.


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Working Moms Mental Health Check-In: Webinar Notes

Thank you to everyone who took the time to join us for our most recent mental health check-in! Beth Manitsky, LMSW, who practices here in Park Slope, offered some tools and advice to put everything into perspective and help us recognize that we’re not going through it alone. Below, we’ve compiled some key takeaways from the check-in.


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