Family-friendly companies change the game for dads

Can men have it all?

Increasingly, work-life balance for men has become a well-covered topic in the news media, books, and blogosphere. The demands of our “always on” lifestyle has meant that quality family time can become more scarce and many families struggle to find balance.

Yet, if the company you work for is on board with cultivating a family-friendly atmosphere, this elusive “work-life balance” seems much more achievable. The proof is in the research, which says that happy employees are 12% more productive than unhappy employees.

So if a company is investing in making their employees happy, they are ultimately investing in the success of their company. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?


This year, I have increasingly appreciated working for a family-friendly company that “gets” parenting. I have the privilege to work for Speech Buddies both as co-founder, Chief Scientific Officer, and also as a featured speech therapist on the Speech Buddies Connect Network. Speech Buddies Connect is an online network of local speech therapists that parents can search to find the best speech professional for their child.

Our family benefits, society benefits and (yes!) my company benefits.

It’s time for men and dads to show what’s possible when companies value the humans behind the job title.

Here are four ways that family-friendly companies are good for men, families, business (including the bottom line!) and the world.

1. Flexibility makes work + life work

Fathers increasingly want to play a hands-on role on the homefront, but that’s simply not possible in an office culture that demands that men be on site 9-5 (or more commonly, 8-6, or 7-8), even without a specific reason for making that demand.

Fortunately, lots of companies are starting to rethink their archaic approach to work, and embracing technology that enables moms and dads to do their work on their schedules.

We see this at Speech Buddies Connect, where our scheduling system uses technology to set appointment times that work for both the parent and the speech-language pathologists. It’s a “trust your workers” mentality from which many companies could benefit.

This flexibility is essential in my life, as my wife has a demanding job with long hours and we share caretaking duties for our kids.

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2. Father-friendly companies are good for business

Companies should pay attention to the changing nature of a father’s role in the family unit. More and more, we see both parents sharing child-rearing responsibilities. Whether that’s dropping-off and picking-up kids from school, or splitting household responsibilities, fathers have become increasingly involved with their children.

This changing landscape gives insightful employers the opportunity to make work conditions and hours more flexible across the board. When mothers and fathers both have active roles in raising their children, it generally has an immediate and positive impact on a child’s emotional well-being.

A company who openly acknowledges that a “family-friendly” workplace applies to both mothers and fathers will develop better employee retention and a more motivated workforce. Now that’s good business!

3. The humans behind the work are valued

The flexibility afforded by creating my own schedule allows me to pick up additional work when it’s needed or lighten my load on weeks when that’s necessary in my personal life. It not only allows us to offer our services to those in need when we are available, but allows us to prioritize family time as well.

My company knows us; who my spouse is, what my kid’s names are, what I like to do in my spare time. They know I’m a father who wants to spend time with family, and who also has parental obligations that take me away from work sometimes.

This is largely due to the fact that we have the necessary personal time to spend with our own families guilt-free.

Seeing us as people, and not just employees, helps us succeed in our work by assuring the families we’re working with that we’re fully committed to supporting them.

Oh—and many studies show that people who feel valued by their employers (especially around family issues) are more loyal to those companies. And that makes good business sense.

4. Commit to your employees—they’ll commit to your mission

One thing that makes me so proud to be a part of Speech Buddies is its mission— dedicated to improving the lives of families living with speech or communication challenges.

For many of our employees and the speech-language pathologists in our network, seeing the bigger picture of our business is what drives them to work hard.

You see: Flexibility at work doesn’t mean taking it easy, it means digging in when you must to achieve a greater good. When we value those families, employees become loyal. And as I’ve seen in my work, loyalty to a great mission means amazing things can happen.

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By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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