NAME: Andrea Delbanco
JOB TITLE: Editor in Chief, TIME for Kids
YEARS WORKING IN COMMUNICATIONS: 22
CHILDREN: 2 (11, 14)
I started working at the New York Times one week after graduating from Brown University. I had the most amazing mentors there, and I learned so much about journalism, including that I am well suited to daily deadlines. Then I went to Time Out New York to write restaurant and bar reviews, which was a dream job for me in my 20s. When I made my way to TIME for Kids, I knew I’d found my passion. I’ve happily been here for 16 years, and counting. We show kids what’s going on in the world so they can get involved and take a step towards positive change, and we teach them to recognize and value fact-based, authoritative journalism. The impact of our mission energizes me and gives me satisfaction every day.
FAVORITE CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Like most people, professional praise and promotions have been great milestones and motivators for me. But I get most joy from the small moments of hearing from our readers, and their parents and teachers. Impact is my top priority. And their notes—which are often handwritten—decorate my desk to regularly remind me of my most meaningful metrics of success.
DID YOUR CAREER CHANGE WHEN YOU HAD A CHILD?
I started at TIME for Kids before I had children. After becoming a parent, and as my girls grew, my work took on a new meaning to me. My daughters and their peers became a little learning lab for me. Watching them learn to read, and become curious about current events and the world around them, motivated me and moved me both personally and professionally.
From a practical standpoint, my life changed dramatically after becoming a mother—as it does for everyone. After my second daughter was born, I needed a better balance. I negotiated to keep my job at TIME for Kids but to shift to a part-time basis, working three to four days a week. I loved that life-work balance, and stuck with it until both of my girls were in school. The transition back to full time work went surprisingly smoothly, and I credit that entirely to my supportive, empathetic boss. Now that my kids are at ages that are more independent and self-sufficient, I am so grateful to have a job that I find meaningful—and fun.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WORKING IN COMMUNICATIONS AND WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS A GREAT INDUSTRY FOR MOMS?
My job is not in communications. It’s not easily quantifiable, actually—my training is as a journalist and editor, but my brand is educational, as well. I can’t speak to the media industry as a whole. But working at a publication whose mission is to empower and uplift kids has been a great fit for my priorities and values as a mom.
WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE ABOUT THE INDUSTRY AS IT RELATES TO MOMS?
Again, I can’t speak to the media industry as a whole. But news coverage, like many other sectors, is demanding, and often inflexible—news happens when it happens, it doesn’t matter if I need to attend a chorus concert at 6PM.
WHAT ARE YOUR 3 TO 5 BEST PIECES OF ADVICE FOR COMMS MOMS?
- Find the right mentors. I learned so much and gained so much strength from women in my workplace with slightly (or even significantly) older kids. And in low moments, it was great to have that support system in place.
- Set boundaries. Especially in this era of working from home, it’s hard to ever feel fully present with family. This advice is easy advice for me to give but hard for me to follow. I can clearly see the benefits of drawing firm lines between working hours and family time, but I’m a work in progress.
- Don’t be afraid to do what is right for you and your family. I was anxious when I shifted to part time work. But it served me well for years, and didn’t set me back with my long-term career goals. It’s a cliche, but it’s true: childhood goes fast, and I never for a moment regret having spent more time savoring it.
FAVORITE THINGS TO DO AS A FAMILY:
We all love to eat, and to play—cards, ping pong, softball (well, not me, but my husband and daughters!), and so on. We also got hooked on binge-watching comedies together during COVID-related quarantine.
ABOUT TIME FOR KIDS:
Since 1995, TIME for Kids has delivered age-appropriate news and current-events content to millions of students in elementary and middle school classrooms across the U.S, and, since 2020, to homes, to keep kids learning, help them understand the news, and connect them to the world. Each week, TIME for Kids presents news in a format that teaches young readers to become critical thinkers and informed citizens. As an educational publication, the mission of TIME for Kids is to help teachers and parents engage kids with the world around them and inspire them to join the conversation about current events.
Follow Andrea on Twitter here and subscribe to Andrea’s weekly “Parents” e-newsletter by clicking here and scrolling down to “Family and Learning” (as shown below):
As a bonus, Andrea’s team set up a special discount for educators who’d like to get either a digital OR print AND digital subscriptions for their students. And, as moms, wouldn’t that be a great gift to get our kids’ teachers? Check out all of the resources (I mean, 95+ years of TIME magazine issues?!?! I want to sign up just for that!):
NOTE: this is not an affiliate link…just something the awesome team at TIME is doing, so please share it with your friends and encourage them to give the gift of exceptional journalism to the next generation.