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Starbucks now offers backup childcare as a benefit for its employees 👏

This can help take a lot of stress off working parents.

Starbucks now offers backup childcare as a benefit for its employees 👏

Maybe your mom usually watches the kids, but she's sick today. Maybe your partner is stuck doing emergency overtime and can't come home before your shift starts. Maybe your regular babysitter just totaled her car. As much as working parents plan our schedules, there are things in life we just can't predict.

Unfortunately, rigid workplace cultures don't always reflect the fact that these things happen, but a major employer is making a huge step by not only recognizing that childcare emergencies come up, but also helping parents pay for backup care when they do.

Starbucks is offering employees at U.S. company-owned stores 10 subsidized backup care days a year through Care.com.

👏👏👏

When a childcare crunch happens, Starbucks workers' benefits include 10 days where they can pay just $1 an hour for in-home backup child care ($2 an hour after the fourth child) or $5 a day per child for in-center child care.


"This is giving our partners resources for things that happen in regular life. We wanted to give them something to help fill in the gaps," says Ron Crawford, vice president of benefits at Starbucks.

This is huge, and we hope more employers follow suit because at a time when families are paying almost as much for childcare as they are for housing, subsidized childcare is a major perk.

It's also a really rare one.

The Associated Press reports only 9% of companies with 1,000 employees or more offered back-up child care as a benefit, according to a 2017 survey of U.S. employers by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Most employers don't offer this, but maybe they should think about it. According to a report by the Center for American Progress, in 2016 almost 2 million parents of kids under 5 had to quit a job, turn down a job or greatly change their job because of issues finding care providers.

Motherly's own 2018 State of Motherhood survey yielded similar results: A full half of respondents told us they've made changes to their work status—like shifting from full to part-time or quitting to stay home—since becoming parents.

Hopefully, Starbucks is starting a benefit trend that will be as popular as its drinks, because if there's anything parents need as much as coffee, it's help with childcare.

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

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