Earlier this month Rachel Zoe shared an interesting approach at her own workplace: an in-office nursery. Since becoming a mom, Rachel has managed to actively include her kids in her career, bringing her kids to the office, cuddling with them in editorial meetings, even taking them along on business trips. While all of that sounds great, it also makes sense – Rachel is, after all, the head of her own major fashion empire. But Rachel takes it one huge step further, by allowing her employees to bring their own children to work, every day of the week.
“I wanted to create an environment where these new mothers wouldn’t have to make a choice between career and motherhood,” the mom of two sons said on her website, The Zoe Report. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to grow my company from just a few people to more than 40 while having my kids — and my husband — by my side, and so I knew I had to do everything in my power to give my staff that same luxury.”
Rachel went on to share that opening a nursery in her West Hollywood office was “one of the best business decisions [she’s] ever made.”
As a young professional (part-time lawyer, part-time blogger), balancing work and life and finding a way to ensure my young daughter is in a safe nurturing environment while I work, is ever a hot topic. Friends and I often talk about the huge companies that have in-house nurseries. While even those scenarios are not always perfect, being able to bring your kids to work each day, to run down on breaks and lunch to see their sweet little faces, to not have to panic over a less-than-perfect daycare (especially when babies barely seem old enough) or under-qualified or hard-to-find sitters, seems like the dream.
“Seeing how motivated and committed the mothers on my team were after returning from maternity leave and being able to set up their babies in the nursery has only solidified my belief that every company should consider this option. Sure it required us to make additional investments—the physical space, the insurance required to protect everyone, the furnishings—but what we are getting in return is invaluable; the working mothers at our company can improve and grow our business without having to sacrifice spending precious time with their babies at such a crucial stage in their mother-child relationships.”
Right now, I myself am trying to figure out just what I should do in my own situation. Scarlett is 10 months old, and though I know she would be okay at a good daycare program, the protective urge to keep her home and/or with my own mom just a little bit longer tends to win out. And as I’m learning, finding a good nanny is incredibly difficult; most are looking for full-time work (which can get pricey, almost prohibitively, especially when my own creative job may barely cover the cost justification of a full-time employee like a nanny) and the really great ones are typically already taken. When I do go into the law office, I take Scarlett, nestled in her Maxi-Cosi infant car seat, but I know she’s under the watchful eye of my mom who is just in the other room.
So tell me fellow mamas, how do you make it work? If you work from home, how do you get anything done with a little one ruling the roost?
Are you a fan of Rachel Zoe’s in-office nursery plan? (I know I am!)
And as for Rachel: “My advice to you: Never apologize for being dedicated to your kids and challenge those around you to not only acknowledge, but celebrate your ability to be a mother and an asset in the workplace.”
image via A Well Traveled Woman