How One (Working Parent) Power Couple Makes it Work
Nikkie and Jeremy Kent met on the soccer field—playing on opposing teams—eleven years ago. Today, they’re married with two kids (Asher, five, and Addie, two) and two very full-time jobs. Nikkie is the EVP of Sales at Mamava and Jeremy is the President of Select Design in Vermont. But juggling work and family with two kids in daycare isn’t easy. Here, the Kents get real about how they make it all work.
Jeremy and Nikkie both work 50-60 hours per week, which means—from Monday to Friday—they only have about 15 waking hours with the kids. So they make the most of the hours they have at home. “We really try to put the phone and computer away and play with our kids while they’re awake,” says Nikkie (They each wear Apple watches to field urgent calls.) “Then it’s back to the grind after bedtime.”
Set reliable weekday routines
Weekday mornings in the Kent household are a “timed event.” Everyone is up at 6:45 and out the door by 8:00 for daycare drop-off. While Nikkie gets ready for work, Jeremy makes breakfast and assembles lunches from the fixings Nikkie preps the night before. Their predictable structure is grounding for everyone, especially their kids. On Saturdays, the family slows down, gets outside, and relaxes at their favorite coffee spot, Philo Ridge Farm. “Our weekday routines really make us appreciate the weekend when we have more time,” says Jeremy.
Coordinate and communicate
The Kents rely on a shared Google calendar to plan everything from work trips to family outings, and they’re diligent about checking with each other before taking on any work travel or other commitments. Without extended family nearby to help take care of the kids, they have to rely on each other. “It's a juggle, but we have to work with it,” says Jeremy.
Share the load
The Kents split household chores and parenting 50/50—recognizing and leveraging their complementary skills. Jeremy handles home maintenance and repair projects; Nikkie cooks and gardens. They alternate daily daycare drop-offs and pick-ups, as well as evening tasks like bath time and dinner dishes. “Sometimes kitchen clean-up is our only alone time,” says Nikkie. At bedtime, they read to their kids, alternating nights to ensure they each get special one-on-one time. “I get a bad rap for reading too many books,” confesses Jeremy. “That’s because he reads 15 in a row!” laughs Nikkie.
Plan for the week
One of the hardest parts about being a working parent is being prepared for the week ahead. “It’s mental capacity,” says Nikkie. So the Kents dedicate Sunday nights to coordinate their week and daycare drop-off and pick-up days. Nikkie also uses Sunday evenings to get ahead of planning and prepping the family’s meals for the week. (The Mamava team would love her to make our lunches too!) Nikkie is “the most organized person I know,” says Jeremy. Both commit to frontloading organization because it frees up more time to spend with the kids.
Balance each other out
The Kents are always aiming to find a balance between spontaneity and structure—in both their relationship and their parenting. And they each bring different gifts to the equation. “Jeremy always keeps a sense of adventure that helps us go with the flow and take things less seriously,” says Nikkie. “He helps me see that there doesn’t have to be structure around everything.” Jeremy’s favorite thing is to rally the family for last-minute hikes out the backdoor...right before dinner. “It sometime gets an eye roll from me,” admits Nikkie. “But I never regret taking those family walks.”
Let go of perfection
“If your goal is perfection in working or parenting, then you’re always going to come up short,” says Jeremy. “Your kids choose when they want to be parented and you just hope you’re around for those moments.” Nikkie wholeheartedly agrees and says that the book Drop The Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less helped her recognize how to “make space for the right thing at the right time.”
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