Last spring, I remember leaving a particularly fruitful networking event where I talked with several prospective clients about my company Flexable’s services, and I came home to my two boys and our nanny, blasting Hamilton in the house. They had just gotten to the track “Battle of Yorktown” and the Hamilton company was singing “….the world turned upside down….” while our nanny was helping the boys do slow motion cartwheels – it was hilarious, adorable and endearing.
Fast forward one year, and it feels as though the world has literally been turned upside down. I co-founded Flexable four years ago in order to drive gender equity at work by bringing pop-up childcare to networking events, professional development conferences and to work, particularly on those days when schools are closed and work is not (i.e. Election Day). Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, EVERYDAY is a day when schools are closed and work is not. To top it off, the majority of our business’ revenue opportunity dried up, with the cancellation of all events and gatherings over 5 people. Like most other small business or startup leaders, I had to make some of the toughest decisions of my career in the last two weeks – from turning away new business that would put our caregiving staff in harm’s way, to asking staff to take pay cuts and letting several others go. Just in the last week alone, I’ve applied for over $100K in grants to just keep the company going, as I’m sure most small businesses have as well.
But through this professional turmoil, we remain committed to our original mission – Flexable has always been committed to helping Life + Work fit better together. Work and life are not in balance – and I believe they shouldn’t be – that implies that both work and life are the same weight; instead work is just a small component of life. Working parents are now being asked daily to fit work into all other life responsibilities – homeschooling, caring for the home, caring for loved ones – and as a working parent myself I have to find creative ways to fit all competing priorities together. And this isn’t going to change any time soon – just today Gov Wolf ordered all schools remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. We’re working on figuring out unique ways to help working parents fit work into life and will be launching new programs to help with this.
In this ever evolving situation, the important thing to do is to find those things in our lives that give us a bit of a reprieve – especially from having to do it all, all the time. We, at Flexable, want to be a part of that solution in helping working parents find those reprieve moments – whether it be to take a work call in peace, take a break from the day, talk to a therapist or loved one, or just be in the moment, alone. Flexable was created by a team of working mothers on a mission to make life easier for working parents – and we will continue pushing ourselves in the pursuit of making Life + Work Fit better together.