Being a working parent can be tough. We feel guilty when we don’t spend enough time with our children and guilty when we do spend time with them and not enough on work. We feel guilty when we cancel plans in our social life to concentrate on our children and work. Parenthood comes with guilt. Finding that perfect balance between your career and children can ease those guilty feeling. Do not attempt to divide the time between your work and children fairly. There will come a time when your work demands more energy from you and a time when your children need more attention. That’s when you need to take a breather and recollect with these friendly parenting reminders:
Prioritize and Get Organized
Achieving that balance between your work and children does not mean splitting the time evenly. Everyone gets the same 24 hours a day to work with. My suggestion is to not only use a calendar or planner for work due dates and office events, but to schedule with your children as well. You’ll be able to physically see all the dates, pertaining to your work and children, allowing you to plan, prioritize and direct your attention to the needed matter. Keep in mind that life does happen, remaining flexible with your scheduling will minimize stress.
There’s a Time and Place
Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm should be spent concentrating on work. Weekday evenings should be spent at home with your children. Cherish the time spent doing nightly routines such as enjoying dinner together, bath time with (the much smaller) children and tucking them into bed.
Mixing Work and Children
Include your children into your work life (to a professional extent). This will not only give them a better understanding of what you’re doing during the day, but also assures them that you’re still thinking about them. Keeping yourself available at work to talk briefly with your child or child’s babysitter and leaving “love notes” are evident ways to remain connected throughout the workday. Invite your children along to work events or bring them for a visit to show them all of their pictures and artwork showcased at your desk.
Finding that perfect balance between two of the most important things in your life can be a challenge. Keeping these tips in mind will save you from the stress and guilt that comes with being a working parent. Just remember this, nobody is perfect! In reality, no parent can possibly do it all. The ones who seem like they can are secretly struggling and the ones who claim they can are most likely lying (to you and themselves).