Being a working parent is no easy task. A startling 25% of employed parents have reported feeling burned out about their occupation, based on a survey encompassing nearly half-a-million employees. Balancing work and parenting can be challenging, but achieving success at home and in the workplace is possible with the right strategies. Here are four tips for managing work-life balance as a working parent that will help you lead a more balanced lifestyle while succeeding professionally.
1. Make Time for Self-Care
To properly balance work and parenting, it is essential to take care of yourself first. This means setting aside time to relax and recharge — whether taking a yoga class, running or reading a book. Taking the time to focus on yourself allows you to be more present in your professional and parental roles.
For moms, carving out times for personal care is especially important. Taking time out of your busy schedule to focus on yourself can help reduce stress and provide an emotional and physical break. Some ideas for self-care activities include taking a warm bath, going for a massage, or having a girls’ night with friends. For dads, taking time to do a hobby such as fishing, playing golf, or building something with their hands can help restore balance. Other tasks include organizing your workspace or doing a home project.
It is natural to feel guilty when taking a break from parenting or work responsibilities, but it is essential to remember that this guilt does not serve any purpose. Taking the time to focus on yourself will allow you to be more productive and present in parenting and work.
2. Prioritize Quality Family Time
Making family time a priority helps create strong, lasting bonds with your children while providing regular quality time away from work stress. Set aside specific weekly days or times to connect with your family without distractions. You could plan activities such as game or movie nights or make time for a special meal together.
If you’re short on family activities ideas, look at your local community listings. There will likely be plenty of fun and engaging events the whole family can attend together. Making sure everyone has the chance to express their thoughts and feelings openly and honestly is also key to successful family time. Make sure to ask each family member about their day and what’s been on their mind — this helps create a positive environment for everyone to share.
Another way to prioritize quality family time is to set up a reward system. This could be something as simple as awarding a point for each activity the family completes together or even recognizing exceptional achievements or milestones that have been reached. Rewards don’t always have to be monetary; they can also include extra time spent with one another or creative activities in which the whole family can get involved.
3. Find a Preschool for Your Kid
Finding the right preschool for your child is essential if you are a working parent. A quality preschool will provide your child with a safe, nurturing environment that encourages learning and exploration. When researching potential schools, read reviews from other parents and ensure a national organization accredits the program.
Once you have found a preschool for your child, you may consider other childcare programs such as newborn and child care. Newborn care centers provide specialized care for infants from birth to 18 months of age. These facilities focus on providing learning experiences that are explicitly tailored to infants and toddlers. On the other hand, childcare centers are typically open to children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old. They provide a variety of activities tailored to individual developmental needs, such as literacy building, music, art, drama, and physical education.
When searching for a newborn or child care center, it is vital to ask about staff qualifications and training. Ask questions about their policies and procedures and any special programs they offer. It is also essential to consider the size of the facility since you want your child to have plenty of space for activities. Additionally, it is beneficial to inquire about safety protocols such as background checks and training on first aid and CPR techniques.
4. Outsource When Possible
Don’t be afraid to outsource tasks when possible to free up more time for yourself or your family. This could include hiring someone to do grocery shopping, finding an online tutor for extra help with school work, or hiring a dog walker, so you don’t have to worry about taking your furbaby out on days when you are too busy. Oftentimes, outsourcing can be more cost-effective and time-saving than trying to do everything yourself.
It can be intimidating to outsource tasks you have been doing yourself for a long time. However, it is essential to remember that this does not mean giving up control — it simply means delegating the task to someone who may be more qualified or available to handle it. When looking for someone to outsource tasks, research the person or company you are considering. Check references, read reviews, and ask questions to make sure you are making the right decision for your needs.
Once you’ve decided on an individual or company to outsource tasks to, create an agreement that outlines expectations and payment terms. This will help ensure that both parties know what is expected and can help ensure that the relationship runs smoothly. Additionally, stay in communication with them throughout the process and provide feedback to ensure that expectations are met.
Dedication and consistency allow you to manage your responsibilities as a working parent and lead a balanced lifestyle. Additionally, don’t forget that it’s okay to ask for help from family members or friends when needed — taking on all the responsibility alone isn’t necessary for success. With support and organization, being a successful working parent is achievable.