Parenting is one of the most fulfilling and demanding jobs in the world. For parents with careers, there is a need to combine work demands with parenting.
Of course, you want to do a great job as both a parent and an employee, but managing it all can leave you feeling exhausted and inadequate. There is usually a strong feeling of guilt parents have when they cannot combine work with parenting.
Finding the right balance between work and family is essential. It can feel overwhelming at first and impossible, but the tips in this article will help you figure out how to combine both effortlessly.
5 Problems Working Parents Face
Balancing work and parenting is not for the faint in heart. A working parent’s life has to face two problems – one at work and the other at home. Although there are many perks for being a working parent, there are also severe obstacles that these parents face.
Here are 5 of the problems faced when combining work and parenting.
1. It Is Almost Impossible to Find Time for Yourself
Between work and parenting, it is a near-impossibility to find time for yourself. You are usually occupied with meeting deadlines and taking care of your children’s needs.
2. Carrying Work Activities Home
Due to work demands, some parents tend to continue to work at home even after leaving the office. Societal demands of perfection both at home and work, which is unrealizable.
3. Dealing with Your Child’s Jealousy
Most parents face resentment from their children. Mostly due to your child feeling like they are not your top priority, especially when work makes you miss important activities (such as plays, concerts, and games) of your kids.
Parenting and working are already different tedious jobs on their own. It is another level of fatigue parents feel when they combine work and parenting. You have to understand that you will wear two hats – both work and parenting. Immediately you leave the office; you will pick up your parenting responsibilities.
5. Healthy Diet for The Family
If both parents are working, preparing healthy meals and snacks for the family will be a major problem. Due to lack of time and tiredness, parents tend to cook a quick and unhealthy meal rather than a well-balanced meal. Most parents will need to hire a cook or prep meals for the week in advance.
Tips for Parents Working and Raising Children
Following the tips below can aid ease the stress and problems of working parents.
DO NOT WORK DURING WEEKENDS
One of the best ways to combine parenting and work is to not work on weekends. A little bit of planning and discipline is necessary to get your important work done during the workweek. If there are weekend duties that cannot be rescheduled, such as unexpected deadlines, ensure you focus only on productive works tasks and eliminate the rest. Freeing up your weekends ensures that you spend time parenting your children.
To perfectly combine work and parenting, you have to be present. Being present means that you will be focused on the task at hand without disturbance from home when you are at work. And when you are with the family, it is all about your children and family without intrusion from work.
HAVE A FAMILY PLAN
With a house of working parents and children, it is important to be realistic about your working situation and create a family plan.
Learn and use planning techniques both at home and at work. When making this plan, ensure that it includes everyone’s work and school schedules; this is to communicate to your children your availability period properly. Also, organize your household so that it can function smoothly without you.
SHOW THAT YOU ARE AVAILABLE
As a working parent, you’re responsible for building a loving environment where your children can freely communicate with you. They should be able to know that when they need your help or guidance, they can reach out to you, and you will be available.
BE FORGIVING TO YOURSELF
Do not be too hard on yourself to miss out on your kids’ important activities due to work.
Realize that it is impossible to be a perfect parent, whether you work away from home all day or you stay at home. Instead, work on your inconsistencies as a parent and try to improve on it.
Also, try to have realistic expectations for yourself, your spouse, and your kids. If you are burnt out to the demands of work, admit it to your family. It does not make you selfish; it simply means you care about your well-being and health. You don’t have to have a perfect parent, be forgiving of yourself.
One of the most important tips for working parents is to be proactive. Have a plan set up with your boss and the company where you work for the most important activities for your children. The activities could be doctor’s appointments, school plays, or provisions for a sick child.
Also, set up an emergency contact that you will notify via e-mail or phone to take care of your children’s needs when you are not available.
SCHEDULE TIME TO PAMPER YOURSELF
It is usually impossible to rest for parents that combine work with family. To avoid stress, schedule days where you will do something special for yourself.
This self-care activity could be a spa treatment, hanging out with friends, playing video games, or anything that will help you relax. If your work calendar is crazy, you can schedule at least 10 minutes in a day for you to relax without disturbances from work or the children. Use effective time management techniques at work that streamlines your job and reduces stress.
Combining parenting and work is not easy, but having strategies in place will help minimize the stress and ensure that your kids and job demands are well taken care of.
With good planning, organization, and knowledge of balancing work and parenting, you can make it all work for you and your family.