Josie McNally is a co-president of the Crimson Parents club. The Crimson Parents club helps families make the transition to HBS by addressing the unique needs of the student parent, their partner, and their children through family-friendly events throughout the year.

It's been challenging to articulate the profound impact this community has had on me as a wife, mother, and friend. But, as I sit here snuggling with my 2.5-year-old after returning from a coffee date with ten other moms and their little ones, it's all become crystal clear. Living here has given my sweet boy and me a remarkable gift – an unparalleled support system.

When my husband Zach McNally (MBA 2023) and I arrived in Boston in July 2021, our son Thomas was barely a year old. As relatively new parents, we were still figuring out the ropes. We were ready for a change, eager for whatever business school would bring– new friends, a new city, and the toddler years. We dove headfirst into school schedules, the Crimson Parents club, hosting dinners, playdates, and meeting new friends. Now, nearly two years later, I can say with certainty that the support network here is what truly stands out.

Living on campus means that every day I encounter someone I know. This translates to having someone to turn to on tough days, to share good news with, or to help when illness strikes. But the support network at HBS is much more than that. It means that when you or your child is struggling, someone is there to offer kind words, a hug, or advice. When you achieve something fantastic, someone is there to cheer you on and celebrate with you. When you or a loved one is sick, someone is there to bring dinner or medication. The way parents support each other in this community is nothing short of amazing. We come together during joyous occasions like welcoming new babies, receiving job offers or getting into graduate programs, or finally getting our little ones to sleep in their own beds at night. And we also rally around each other in times of sadness or hardship, whether it be the loss of a loved one, a setback in our plans, a difficult stage of potty training, or a health scare.

This support system has made me never want to live anywhere else. To know that over 40 families have my back is a beautiful feeling. And to think that our children are growing up learning that this kind of community is normal is simply wonderful. We all understand the importance of being parents, and we strive to create thoughtful, intentional childhoods for our little ones. My friend Sarah said something to me the other day that struck a chord: "We are changing the world, even if it only feels like we are changing diapers." She's so right. By living thoughtfully, intentionally, and supportively, we're teaching our children to do the same. In this community, actions like bringing banana bread to a sick friend or making a card for someone going through a tough time are second nature. We're shaping a pack of kids who are caring, helpful, and loyal, and I couldn't be prouder to be a part of it.

With graduation just around the corner, I'm making the most of every moment here. How many dinner parties can I host? How many walks with friends can I squeeze in? While I'm thrilled to see what the future holds for my family, the thought of leaving behind these friendships and relationships breaks my heart. The people– women, men, and children alike– who make up this community have given us so much, and I will be forever grateful. The bar has been set high for wherever we go next.