Veronica Shukla

Random Musings

Full-Time Parents Accomplishing Goals: A Solution

EDIT: This group is now in operation. Please visit the Parents Accomplishing Goals (PAG) Cooperative website to learn more.

I am in the process of creating a group that will allow full-time parents to accomplish other goals. These goals could be things like professional work, volunteering, studying, and starting a business.

I am a full time mother. I cherish every second I get to spend with my children, but I also have some serious goals to accomplish. I’m starting a business, for one thing, and I’m not getting paid for it. I don’t expect to draw a salary for some time, in fact. If I’m not drawing a salary, it doesn’t make financial sense, at least in our situation, to pay for daycare for the little one.

But even if it did, I don’t want to lose that much time (and control) with my  baby. I love being here for him when he needs me. I love being around him full time so that I know he has a positive role model during the day who will ensure he is respectful, compassionate, grateful, etc.


So until now, the choice has been to parent full time and do whatever work I can fit in during nap time (if he naps) or after the boys go to bed at night. But it has come to the point where it’s not enough, and because of that, my work world is meshing with my parenting world. I think this meshing is diminishing the quality of both worlds. When I’m working, I want to put my full focus on my work. When I’m with my family, they should get my full attention, and that includes quality time with my husband after the boys go bed, something we don’t get much of now.

I have considered childcare co-oping with another mom or TimeBanking, and they are both great options, but there are a few cons. There’s the difference in number of kids, the trust you have to put into other parents (since your child is with only that one parent), parenting differences, dietary differences, the chance of the other parent backing out at any time. On top of that, there’s still that loneliness if you are working by yourself. After all, one of the benefits of working at a brick and mortar company is the co-workers.

Then one day, I had an epiphany. An idea that seems to sidestep many of the negatives from above. It doesn’t have a name yet, so I’ll just describe it. In my idea, many full-time parents with goals enter into an agreement whereby they all congregate a certain number of times a week — three days, for example. Location could be a permanent place or switch through the houses of the participants. It may depend on the equipment needed by the participants to accomplish their goals.

For certain periods of time, maybe a whole day or a number of hours, a certain number of the parents would be responsible for the children (depending on the number of children) — playing with them, loving them, teaching them, feeding them, and of course visiting with each other while doing so. The other parents would be accomplishing their goals during that time. I’m envisioning most of them working at that location, but maybe some would have to leave to volunteer, go for meetings or classes, or run errands. This way if the children need their parents, they can still be there for them. The parents will rotate duties on a set schedule, or maybe a banking system.

If you want to be with your child every day to make sure he or she sticks to a certain diet, you’re set. If your child still nurses to sleep for nap and you want to keep it that way, you’re set. We can set up a board and determine our own rules. We can wear whatever the heck we want. We can set our own hours. We can hold each other accountable for our goals. We can socialize with each other, and our children get to socialize about as much as a child who goes to daycare.

All members would be responsible for decision-making and management of the co-op, as that is an integral function of cooperatives. Maybe there will be a membership fee to cover certain costs (or maybe not), but there will never be an extravagant daycare cost. So, you get to continue being a most-time parent (I just made that up), socialize your children, accomplish your goals, make new friends, increase the quality of your family time by separating work and family life, and all of this without regular daycare costs.

I’m sure this type of thing has existed for about as long as humans have existed. And I’m sure some type of modern system like this exists, too. I just don’t know what they are called. Interested? Please let me know!

EDIT: This group is now in operation. Please visit the Parents Accomplishing Goals (PAG) Cooperative website to learn more.