Joanna Rosenfeld, 31 January 2014

How to make work as a parent - making it work for all

To begin with, this was my 1st D&D and so this is also my first report EVER! I am

feeling a bit nervous, coldy and tired, and so will keep it brief.

I sat on my own in a very still place, wondering,

- was the 4.30 slot too late for parents?

- do we not have the need to support each other?

- are we worried about being perceived weak if we ask for support?

- do we all muddle through in isolation?

After a while, a couple of people joined me, both have no children (yet).

We began to think about what an organisation could do to support parents.

We identified issues parents have when working for an organisation

- the parent having to be on call, and potentially having to leave work at the drop of a


- school holidays and annual leave making work scheduling difficult

- tiredness

- being ruled by school time tables

Then we identified needs we have as parents

- flexibility

- sensitivity

- extra money for childcare

- energy

- downtime

- fun time

We then identified some strategies for the parent to use when working

- compartmentalise

- you do what you can in the time available

- prioritisation

We also identified some strategies for organisations

- open a crèche

- share childcare

- be imaginative when structuring rehearsals

We were joined by a gentleman who changed his practice when he had children, and

was happy to share his experience.

Firstly, he said the children feed into the work now, instead of being a problem, the

attitude was that they are a source of inspiration and can be included in the creative


He/they invite them to give feedback by being preview audiences and encourage

children to sit the front rows during performances.

The working process itself became task based, and the work started to change,

currently focussing on working inter-generationally.

The company developed an inclusive policy for children and introduced a childcare

allowance for families with children up to the age of 16.

Some food for thoughts….

Several artists and theatre practitioners were mentioned to be investigated

Vivian Gussin-Paley (USA)

Ad Infinidum “Ballade of the Burning Star” - touring with a 1 year old?

Metatheatre Poppy Burton-Morgan

Martina Mullaney “The enemies of good art” investigating the artist parent & identity


parenting, family, parent, Childcare, childcare, parents, Parents, families, Children,

children, Parenting