|Parent and Participation||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Frost, Morgan (frostmseattleu.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2019 09:59:30 -0800 (PST)|
Hi all, As a new parent (babe is 14 months old) I have not been able to meet participation requirements since having a baby, and I would like to explore how other communities handle this. I love my community and I hate feeling like I'm not meeting expectations. I have heard other communities expect "household" participation rather than individual-so I'm curious about this. I'd like to gather more information from other communities who have worked through this so I can have ideas for solutions to bring to my own community. We have more babies on the way so I would love to pave the way for improving expectation management and helping parents have less guilt and feel more valued as community members even when they cannot participate at the level they did pre-children. We may be able to remedy some of this with structural changes, or perhaps we need to investigate deeper cultural change work as well. More Context: Here at Vashon Cohousing near Seattle, WA, our participation agreement defines that all adult residents attend all business meetings (2 hours each, 16x/year), all adult residents serve on at least one committee (meets monthly), and everyone age 9+ attends all work parties (10-12 per year, 3 hours each). There is no childcare provided for any of our meetings, and babies attending business and committee meetings is generally frowned upon (this isn't written but it's clear from body language and even verbal statements that the children are too distracting). If I were to setup care for all business meetings and all work parties and all committee meetings expected of me in a year on my own I would be paying at least $1,500 in care costs plus the EXTREME mental load of booking caregivers and rearranging schedules when they can't make it. Not to mention all of the time away from my little one while participating in a community that says we value children. Even with childcare setup, a nanny cannot breastfeed my son and neither can my husband, so it usually falls on me to miss all or part of meetings to care for my baby. 1. How do you handle participation generally-individual basis or household basis? 2. What is expected of parents in your community regarding participation? * Children at meetings * Arranging childcare individually or through a committee? * First year baby is born are there different, lower expectations defined for participation? * Is anything in particular talked about or defined for nursing mothers in particular? * Do you have any specific policies or agreements for parent members? * Etc. Thank you! Morgan
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