Don't Be Afraid to Ask

I was recently asked to join an event planning committee. In the initial email invitation they offered me childcare during the planning meeting if I needed it, and a small stipend.

This is a dream! It's ideal because not only are accommodations being made for me as a mom and a stipend being offered, all of these accommodations were arranged prior to reaching out to me, without me even having to ask. This is ideal, but this is not normal, unfortunately.

I have come to a place in my life where I cannot be afraid to ask about compensation or accommodations for children when I’m requested for things like committees, boards, panels, etc.

If they are reaching out to you they value your presence, so don’t be afraid to ask: 

Is there compensation?
Is there childcare?
Is it child friendly?

For a long time I was scared to ask about compensation for my time. I thought it somehow made me less professional. After having my daughter, and now that I work for myself, I better understand that my time indeed does have value. You don’t have to turn down opportunities that are completely volunteer, but it’s important to ask.

I also was scared to ask about child-friendly spaces or child-care, especially as a Black mom. I thought it would make me come off as unprepared or unable to handle my own family. But the bottom line is I am a mom and parents need and deserve accommodations for their children. Too often children are looked at as not belonging in spaces, but guess what? We were all children once! And children are a part of society, so where possible, I believe there should be more flexibility for having children in spaces and trusting that parents know what their child can and can’t handle socially. I don’t have to bring my daughter with me, but its lovely to know when I can, especially for volunteer endeavors.

Have you been afraid to ask?

P.S. - If anyone is interested in a post about how you as an organizer or organization can be more parent friendly let me know, and I’d be happy to write a post with simple tips. 

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