It is not easy to be a working parent. Something that most working parents have in common is that they are not as physically present for their children as they would like to be. It is joyful to raise your kids, be with them for each and every moment and make memories but working parents can face serious obstacles. With long working hours, onsite visits, chores, etc., it leaves parents with little or no time to spend quality time with their children:
Following are the major concerns that working parents struggle with and potential workarounds:
- Child care needs: Working parents can easily understand what a juggling act it is to get their kids to school, get to work, be there for the pickup, and get home. And if you are a working parent and kids aren’t in school yet, it is even more difficult. So, working parents can try to look for a remote job. With the flexibility of a remote job, you’ll probably have more opportunities to connect with your child (e.g. having lunch with them or being there to meet them at the bus). All you need is some type of kid coverage – a daycare, a nanny/babysitter, a babysitting collective, etc., you are good to go.
- Parents need to be on the same team: Being away from home for most of the time, your partner and you might differ in opinion and parenting styles. It is important that both of you plan and be on the same page. So, catch up on the latest events in your child’s life with your spouse and decide what the both of you, as a team, want to do about it.
- Transitioning from work to home: Parents often catch themselves still thinking of work or working even at home. They might be answering emails or doing some research over phone at home. In order to have work-life balance, setting boundaries and prioritizing what is of importance might make the process easier. So, take a couple of minutes after work in order to prepare yourself for your role as a parent. Unwind by indulging in an activity that calms you like getting a snack, having a hot shower, or whatever else. When you’re at work, you should be focused on the task at hand. And when you are home, it should be all about kiddos.
- Maintain daily contact: If you have a traveling job and you can’t be around the child physically, it is important to keep in touch when he/she isn’t with you. This shows children that they are important to you. You could schedule video calls, send audio notes, snap chat together, play online games, etc.. Having meaningful conversations or asking about details will help you feel more involved and a part of your child’s life.
- Be kind to yourself: There may be days when you have to take off from work when your child is sick, or you have to leave work at sharp 6:00 PM and your colleagues might shoot you the stink eye. When you start feeling guilty about not giving 100% to your work or your loyalty is been questioned, have a discussion with your boss and you will feel better.
- Finding time for yourself: Between family and work, it is almost impossible to find time for yourself. As much as family and work are important, finding atleast 40-45 mins for yourself is essential. It is important for your body and mind. Spend this time to stay healthy and fit so you can support your family better.
Very easily do we spill over into the monotony of life and get carried away by the routine. Hence, take a few minutes to be compassionate towards yourself, remind yourself that you are doing your best and whatever is in your control to do. Taking a step back to evaluate your responsibilities, expectations, and your needs might prevent burnout.