Establishing a work-family life balance is crucial for successful parenting and keeping the family happy. This is necessary whether you’re a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) or dad who works from home or you have a traditional job that takes you away every day. More than ever, time management will play an important role in helping you to achieve this balance.
You’ll need to be on top of your game, especially if your kids need to attend sports practice, doctor’s appointments, or need help with homework. Not forgetting time for yourself to relax and relieve stress, particularly after a long, hectic day at the office. At the same time, you’re also expected to remain professional and productive at the workplace.
4 tips for balancing work with parental responsibilities
While all of this can make you feel frustrated or overwhelmed at times, these 5 tips can help you to juggle all of your responsibilities without compromising work or family commitments.
1. Consider a flexible job
Having a flexible job is the dream of every parent who wants to stay connected to their children and play an active role in raising them. You can use your skills and work experience to leverage the type of job that allows you to meet family commitments around your work schedule.
A flexible job can be especially helpful for moms with babies or young children that need regular care and supervision. You may even land a work-from-home career that lets you work and care for the kids all at the same time.
2. Create a time management plan
When you’re a working parent, each second counts. To run your household effectively while keeping your boss pleased, you’ll likely need to plan each day’s activities. You can make a written calendar for each week and stick it to the fridge or download an app you can consult on the go. The level of planning required will depend on the number of children, their ages, whether you have a partner or other sources of help, and your work schedule.
Also, keep a calendar or to-do list to organize and complete work tasks on schedule.
3. Make time for child’s play
It can be incredibly challenging to carve out special time to play and interact with your children when you spend many hours at work and time commuting back and forth. Once you get home, you have to fix dinner, do household chores, help with homework, and even tend to your partner’s needs. Before you know it, you’re drained and ready to slump into bed.
Whatever you do, carving out special time to have fun with the kids is necessary for their development and deepening your bond. Do fun things like watching a movie together, play board games, or have pillow fights. You can also set up “play dates” for frolicking outside or at the park, have a tea party, or go for ice-cream.
4. Have your caregivers on speed dial
If you work away from home, you probably rely heavily on daycare and babysitters to help care for your child. However, you’ll need a plan B and C to cater for days when the babysitter calls out sick, the daycare is closed, or your child is sick and cannot go to daycare.
These unpredictable eventualities can interfere with you going to work or staying productive throughout the day. Ensure you have one to three trusted persons you can call on to pick up the slack for you. Before and after-school programs can also assist in alleviating the need for extended childcare.
A final word
While balancing your work life with family life, remember to stay connected to your kids. You can use smartphones and tablets to face time or video chat with the kids and help with solutions to problems while you’re away. You can also send cute text messages to older children or place a note in your child’s lunchbox to remind them that they are loved.