Nowadays, it’s more common than ever for people to balance a full-time job and raising their children. And while this is commendable and sometimes even essential, it is also hard to achieve. So, how do you balance work and parenthood? Read on for 22 of the best tips and tricks that will help you effectively juggle your kids and career simultaneously.
Say Goodbye to Any Guilt
For many working parents, there can be a struggle with feeling guilty about not spending all their available time with their kids. This is, unfortunately, quite common, but not everyone has the option of becoming a stay-at-home parent.
Don’t let yourself feel judged or ashamed by going back to work and juggling your career with your kids. It’s an impressive feat, and you deserve all the kudos in the world for making it work! Let go of the guilt and pat yourself on the back instead.
Assess Your Priorities
When juggling work and parenting, your priorities are going to change. You are no longer focused solely on your career and earnings but also on the little person or persons who rely on you for everything.
It’s important to visualize what you want this balance to look like and then take concrete steps to achieve it. If you are flying blind through a combination of work and parenting, making a firm plan to change or better your circumstances is difficult.
It’s a big change but manageable with the right mindset. Make sure to keep yourself on track for the important things, and assess your future priorities and goals.
Build Daily Routines for Everyone
As a working parent, your time is precious. You’ve likely wondered how you can get so much done with only 24 hours in a day! So, it’s important not to spend any of your precious time on distracting or fruitless things.
Routines are a great way to keep everyone organized, from parents to children. It might take some time to figure it out, but your day will run much smoother once you establish a routine that works for everyone. Consider some of the following and where they fit in your day:
- Breaks during work or school
- Helping with your children’s homework
- Hygiene routines
- Mealtimes and snack time
- Playtime and fun activities
- Uninterrupted time for you or your partner’s job
Don’t Say Yes to Everything
While scheduling plenty of things to keep your kids busy might sound like a good idea, it’s important not to overload yourself with too many commitments. You will likely burn out before long if you’re always headed somewhere!
And the same goes with packing your schedule with various activities or invitations— it’s good to get out there and have fun, but don’t underestimate the rejuvenation of at-home downtime.
Connect With Other Working Parents
You are not alone as a working parent! There are plenty of mothers and fathers who juggle careers and kids at the same time.
Try to make friends with others who are balancing their family and work lives. You can often gain invaluable connections and even advice from other busy adults in the same boat as you.
Have Dedicated Workspaces
Whether you work from home or your children are homeschooled, make sure everyone has their own dedicated workspace. Having rooms and desks for getting work done and places to play is essential.
This makes it much easier to separate work and school from time spent with the family, particularly if everything is happening within the same four walls!
Create & Keep a Family Calendar
If you can look at your day in a nutshell and figure out who is going where and when it can be incredibly helpful. A family calendar that includes school, work, and downtime activities will help keep everyone organized and on top of busy schedules.
Opt for a physical version at home, but make sure to download cloud-based calendar apps onto everyone’s phone.
Have Open Communication
Whether it’s keeping an open line of communication with your significant other, childcare providers, or manager, it’s important to keep in touch with everyone as your busy day progresses.
That way, if something unexpected happens and you have to alter your work or home plans, you can prevent some levels of stress and possible contention.
Find Good Quality Childcare
You will likely need the support of childcare at some point. Whether that is your partner on their days off, a family member, or a professional childcare service, it’s important to find someone you can trust to watch your children when you are at work or have other commitments.
Have Other Options for When Things Go Wrong
It’s an inevitable part of life— a meeting runs overtime, you miss a flight, or the car breaks down on the highway. No matter what, there is a chance that your best-laid plans will still go awry, and you should have options for that eventuality.
After-hours childcare, a trusted friend who can pick up your kids from school, or an overnight bag that is packed and ready to go for an impromptu night’s stay with the grandparents, it’s best to have a few alternate plans of action.
Leave Your Work Behind at the End of the Day
When you leave your job for the day, try to leave your work mindset behind. It might be more difficult, but it’s important to let yourself have downtime and family time.
Switch off your work phone, try to avoid checking emails or work messages after clocking out, and tune out from work matters until the next day.
Hack Your Life With Time-Saving Strategies
Embrace time-saving strategies to make the days and weeks infinitely easier for everyone!
For instance, set out clothes and pack lunches the night before; order your groceries to be delivered to your door or subscribe to a meal-preparation service; delegate smaller household tasks to older children and make it into a game.
Save Some Time for Yourself
It can be difficult to imagine spending time on self-care and relaxation when leading an incredibly full and busy life, but you-time is an essential that should not be overlooked.
You don’t have to head out to a spa for the afternoon or book a solo trip to have a productive time to yourself, either. It can be as simple as reading a book in the bath, going for a walk, or heading to bed a bit earlier than usual.
Share the Housework
After you finish work for the day, the last thing you likely want to tackle is a messy house. It’s a good idea to split the housework with your children and partner as this allows everyone to have a share in cleaning and gets it done faster.
Plus, by delegating some doable tasks to your children, they can learn about cooking, cleaning, and organizing a house from an early age.
Enjoy Bedtime Routines
Sometimes, the only quality time you get to spend with your children during hectic weeks will be at bedtime.
But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing— embrace a bedtime routine with your little ones, including helping to get them ready for bed, reading aloud, or some other special activities that let you look forward to the end of the day.
Make Time for Family Outings
If you cannot spend as much time with your family during the work week, implement plenty of special time together when you have clocked out.
Whether it’s a weekly game night or spending the weekends doing something new, it’s important to create memories and have meaningful family time whenever possible.
Spend Time With Your Partner
Don’t overlook your partner in the mad rush of kids and careers. Reconnecting with your significant other is essential to maintaining a happy and healthy home life.
Try to go out on dates, cook a meal together, or just spend some time doing a jigsaw puzzle and catching up. Making the strength of your relationship a priority will ensure the rest of your home and work structure holds up well, too.