Daisy Wademan Dowling: Achieving Balance as a Working Parent

June 7 - On The Dot

FIRST THOUGHT: In the Family Way

One of my friends on social media posted an article about what it’s like to be pregnant while also mothering a toddler. Having experienced this herself, my friend said she could’ve written the article. In the piece, writer Crystal Bowman talks about envying first-time moms, who can nap whenever the urge strikes them, whereas her reality involves dealing with a clingy toddler and being tired as all get-out all the dang time. If you’re struggling with an aspect of parenting, communicate with your other mama friends. Browse some articles written by real-life parents. Seek out help and advice, and commiserate with others experiencing similar parenting challenges.


If you’re a working mom, you know how hectic life can get when you’re juggling a full-time career and parenthood. Today’s Woman to Watch, who we’ll chat more in-depth about in a moment, offers up some helpful tips, including seven real-life working-parent power moves that take seven minutes or less to accomplish and improve work/life balance. They include sending your boss a short email update with good news about a current project, and saying yes to high-intensity workouts that are quick yet satisfying. If you don’t even have time for that, it’s OK to say no to something else on your calendar. Practice your personal elevator pitch so you can impress those around you at a moment’s notice, and dust off that LinkedIn profile to impress those who find you online. My favorite suggestion: Take a few minutes to eat dinner with your family and don’t sacrifice quality time with your kiddos.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Daisy Wademan Dowling, Founder and CEO of Workparent

For something that occupies all of our waking and oftentimes sleeping hours, you’d think this whole working-while-parenting thing would get a little more attention. Daisy Wademan Dowling isn’t afraid to say what everyone’s thinking: We need help! Working-mom life is hard!

This Brown University and Harvard Business School grad has spent years aiming to get the working-parent thing down pat. From starting her career at a major financial company to working as an executive for several big-time firms, Daisy has expertly piloted an impressive career. For more than a decade, she has been sharing in the Harvard Business Review how she balances the rigors of such a career while also putting her two kids first, and even created the publication’s first-ever column focused on working parents.

About a year ago, Daisy took her expertise to a new level, starting a specialty training, strategy and consulting firm called Workparent, which is on a mission to provide solutions and dignity for all working parents. Daisy describes it as a “gentle rebellion” against the stereotype that parents can’t excel at both career and raising kids.

What I love about Workparent is that it’s focused on changing organizational mentalities. For women, that’s key to feeling supported and stable at work. Daisy and her team help senior execs learn how to garner excellent job performance from employees while also acknowledging their home responsibilities.

Part of Workparent’s effective approach includes designating coaches within each company it works with, coaches who act as mentors and make sure working parents receive constructive feedback and support. Workparent also has a long-lasting impact by guiding management in creating policies and programs that address the concerns of working parents. The overall result, Daisy says, is empowered, engaged employees who will stay at and succeed in their jobs, and a stronger workplace culture.


Let’s finish today’s story with a great quote from mother and chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg:

“Parents who work outside the home are still capable of giving their children a loving and secure childhood. Some data even suggest that having two parents working outside the home can be advantageous to a child’s development, particularly for girls.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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