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How Working Parents Can Finally "Have It All"

Janine Annett is a New York-based writer of picture books, humor pieces, personal essays, and lifestyle articles. Her work has appeared in The New York Times' “Well Family Ties” column, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and others. She writ...

The answer you've been waiting for: Wolves?

Disclaimer: The below is a piece of humor writing. Please, for goodness' sake, keep your children away from wolves at all times.

Are you a working parent who’s concerned that you’ve been passed over for a promotion because you need to limit your working hours to merely eight, nine or 10 hours a day? Have you been on the receiving end of remarks about being a “clock-watcher” because you keep to some semblance of a schedule? Perhaps you’ve heard dismissive comments from colleagues about the “preferential treatment” you receive when you need to take time out of the workday to deal with a sick child or attend one of your kid's events (even though you’re using your allotted time off and following all proper procedures in order to do so). Well, fret no more! You truly can “have it all” by using one or more of these solutions to balancing the needs of work and family.

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Suggestion 1: Shift all the responsibilities in one or more areas of your life to someone who gets paid to report to you.

Maybe you’ve noticed that some people seem to be able to work long hours and have a family. What’s their secret? Help. Paid help. They probably have a nanny or an au pair who can work many hours, so they can be at the office until 8 p.m. every night. There too they have staff who report to them. What? You don’t have a posse of direct reports at work and a paid helper at home? Read on for more suggestions.

Suggestion 2: Have a family member who assists you.

So you don’t have a paid caregiver, housekeeper, personal assistant, intern or other help. The next option to consider is a family member who conveniently has more free time than they know what to do with. Maybe your parents can watch your kids every single day during the week. Of course, this assumes your parents don’t have to do anything so baseless as work for a living; surely they’re retired by now and live nearby and also have no other obligations. Surely.

If you don’t have family nearby or if that family is incapable — mentally, physically or spiritually — of looking after your kids, read on for another idea.

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Suggestion 3: Have a spouse who can assume all child care responsibilities.

Perhaps — just perhaps — your spouse or partner can watch your children full time? No? Well, that's a downer. If you’re a single parent or if your family needs two incomes in order to live, keep on reading for more ideas.

Suggestion 4: One word: wolves.

“Raised by wolves” has a certain connotation, but wolves are pretty universally misunderstood. You can absolutely outsource the raising of your children to wolves. Wolves are actually highly social animals and are very family-focused. Bonus: Your children will become excellent hunters and develop great howling skills. If you don’t live in area with a high wolf population (and let’s face it, the No. 1 threat to wolves is the destruction of their native habitat), you still have one more option.

More: Weird Things You Never Talked About Before Having Kids

Suggestion 5: Clone yourself.

Human cloning once seemed like a far-off fantasy, purely in the realm of science fiction — but cloning has come a long way. You do have to be willing to make an upfront investment (which will more than pay for itself over time) as well as be comfortable operating in a black market since most “reputable” scientists distance themselves from human cloning. There are, however, probably some noble souls who will clone you. Maybe try looking on the “dark web” for starters? Ask around; you may be surprised how many parents you know manage to “do it all” simply because they’ve cloned themselves. Who knew it would be so easy?

The answer you've been waiting for: Wolves?
Image: Yvonna Groom/Sheknows

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