Being a working parent feels like swinging on a flying trapeze without any safety net below. Raising a child is already a challenging task. It gets more challenging when you are a working parent and have to maintain a balance between your work and professional life. Although you can always outsource paid childcare so as to get to work with a free mind, you are always worried, somewhere in the back of your mind, about your child being in safe hands while you are out for work.
Besides kids, there are many such instances that require your time and presence in home but you are not able to be at mark only because of your responsibilities at work. I have many friends who are working mothers and feel guilty many a time for not being able to give proper time to their kids. Such situations can be a cause for stress that can make your personal life distressful and unhappy.
10 Tips To Be A Happy Working Parent
Being a working parent can make you feel like being pulled in two directions. Check out the following tips to create a balance between work and kids and become a happy working parent.
1. Embrace Your Identity
Remember who you are and why are you working. Most of us work to earn and have a successful professional life. If your job provides the feel good factor about supporting your family, you should feel empowered to have a successful career.
2. Be Organized
Leave as little as possible for mornings. Try to pack your and your children’s bags at night. Make your and kids’ clothes ready at night. Buy sufficient school clothes and socks to avoid being a slave to the washing machine every evening. Your purse and the keys should be at a ‘grab and go’ place. Be well organized to avoid hassles and stress.
3. Take a Break
Avoid being too hard on yourself. You can only do what you can. Be kind to yourself. Don’t worry if your house is all messed up or your kids are not fed super-nutritious, cooked from scratch food each day. It’s all a part of life. Don’t beat yourself up for small things. It happens to all.
4. Go Online
Sort out all financial dealings online, whether it is about paying home bills or paying your child’s school fee. Opt for direct debits, so that there is less paperwork to wade through.
5. Cherish the Good Things About Your Work
Besides the money earned from your job, cherish the other good things about your day at work. It could be a simple as having a good laugh at work with colleagues, enjoying a coffee without any disturbance by the kids for extra chocolate, or getting relaxed ten minutes to read your book on the train.
6. Draw a Line Between Family Time and Work Time
Draw a clear line between work and family. Work when you are at work and be a mummy completely when you are at home. It is quite hard with emails pinging into the inboxes of your smart phones. However, try to be strict with yourself and draw a line between the two roles played by you. One good way is to make the most of holidays and weekends for family time. Switch off from work and cherish the time you get to spend with kids and family.
[ Read: How To Enhance Your Parenting Skills ]
7. Don’t Be a Superwoman
Don’t try to do everything on your own. Ask help from your family and spouse. Make systems in house to get everyone in the house to help. Even your small child can pick his plate from the table and put it in the dishwasher. Ask help instead of being a superwoman.
8. Stop Being a Perfectionist
It is not always necessary to be a perfectionist, whether it is about being a good spouse, employee, or parent. You might have good and bad days. Things might slip through the cracks many a times. Avoid comparing yourself to others. Everyone’s life has different ups and downs. You might find their lives easier than yours while it is not.
9. Take Shortcuts
Try to take shortcuts for various tasks. However, taking shortcuts doesn’t imply that you have to shortchange your kids. You can stay connected with your child’s school life during weekends. Try and cram your Saturdays and Sundays with family activities and adventures. Be a part of your child’s life by communicating with the school and teachers through emails.
10. Outsource Help
Childcare is just a part of stress-inducing household tasks. There is a lot more to be done, like grocery shopping, walking the dog, cleaning the house, plan a holiday meal, and the list is endless. Outsourcing a domestic help for small tasks is a good idea to make your life easier and stress free. You can spare, ample time to spend with your kids and family.
Above all, make sure to list your priorities. You cannot be everywhere at the same time, whether it is kids’ school or dealing with clients and colleagues. This is possible only after you evaluate your strengths, schedules, and preferences, including morning routines, doctor’s appointments, and signing up for classes. Find an emotional support system. This is vital for happiness of a working parent. Try networking and communicating with other working moms. Share and discuss your everyday conflicts to find solutions. This would help make you stay sane and happy.