Number 1
Hands-on parenting meets hand-in-hand relationships
So, you’ve found the love of your life, the person you want to support through thick and thin and maybe even start a family with. Your partner even feels the same about you! Congratulations — that’s the easy part.

Welcome to the great juggling act, the main event in the three-ring circus of modern American family life. For today’s professionals, marriage and children more often than not mean keeping two hands constantly circulating between (at least) three crucial objectives: steering an ambitious career; hands-on parenting; and maintaining a loving, hand-in-hand relationship with one’s partner.

Nobody said it was going to be easy, but has it ever been harder than it is right now? Among the latest challenges: 24/7 connection to employers and clients through mobile devices, ever-expanding extracurricular obligations for today’s busy grade-schoolers, and an increasingly globalized business world that can put partners on different continents at a moment’s notice.

Consider the case of Darryl ’11 and Sandra Moreno Shazier ’12 — alumni who, like all those featured here, found love among the Bison. They met during Sandra’s first-year Orientation, in line for sno-cones at a carnival day for incoming students. When Darryl decided to propose in 2013, he brought Sandra back to campus and hired a sno-cone machine to recreate the mood of their first encounter. Needless to say, their relationship is rooted in romance, but that alone doesn’t solve the problem of balancing work and family — especially since daughter Savannah, 2, arrived on the scene.

“The biggest challenge is making time,” says Darryl, an account executive at Jopwell, a tech startup focused on diversity recruitment. “Another big challenge is disconnecting from work. We both have very demanding jobs.”

“Work is crazy — long days, many hours,” agrees Sandra, a wealth management professional at Goldman Sachs. “A lot of times we have to bring work home. But we both try to make time every day to focus on each other, our daughter, our family.”

One simple way the Shaziers have found to compromise and work together toward shared goals is to split pickup and drop-off duty for Savannah’s day care. Darryl handles drop-off in the morning so Sandra can get into work as early as possible. In the evenings, Sandra takes charge of pickup, so Darryl can stay a bit longer at work if need be.

This approach reflects the reality of family life on two highly competitive career tracks. “We’re both at places where people want to constantly improve and thrive and move up the ladder,” Sandra says. “Even in something as simple as pickup and drop-off, we have to keep finding time to move ahead in our careers, in every moment we’ve got.”