Although there are many joys in raising children, parents who work can face some serious challenges as they do their best to keep it all together.
1. Challenges of The Working Parents
Although every family is unique, here are some common challenges that working parents tend to face.
Working remotely doesn’t help, it can make things even harder
Working from home comes with many advantages such as flexibility and more opportunities to bond with your children by having lunch together and not wasting time on your daily commute. But, you still need daycare as you cannot tend to your children while working and explaining that to them can be tricky.
Beating yourself up
Most days, you feel like a hamster running on a wheel. You beat yourself up about not being able to give your all to everything and everyone all at the same time. It’s ok for your kids to have a pepperoni pizza for dinner from time to time. It’s also completely fine to turn off your phone and not check your email after work so you can enjoy these lovely creatures that demand your full attention. If you were a rock star at work, it might be hard to lower the workload without your superior questioning your loyalty. Good companies know how to appreciate people. Let your work speak for itself.
Not having the time for yourself
Between juggling work and family, working parents might find it impossible to have time to breathe which takes a toll on their mental and physical health.
2. Work-Life Balance Tips for Working Parents Busy Schedules
First, you need to assess your balance. Are you sleeping enough, do you finish your to-do lists, do you feel fulfilled and do things for yourself every once in a while? If you answered no to any of these, you need to take action to restore balance.
Prepare the night before
Avoiding the morning rush means starting the day on the right foot. Clean up the kitchen, prepare breakfast, lay out clothes for the next day and plan what you’ll make for lunch.
Plan meals ahead
A meal plan will make your life so much easier. Partially pre-cook and freeze dinners for the week ahead.
Leave work at work
When you are ‘at work’, work hard and give it your all. But, after work hours, turn off your phone and don’t check your email.
Use technology to your advantage
Buy groceries online to save time going to the store. Set up auto payments for paying bills like your rent, PECO utility and internet bill so you never miss a payment when life is moving too fast. Just be careful and keep track of your expenses and bank account.
Make the time for some ‘me-time’
Self-care is not about being selfish, it’s about keeping your sanity and health intact. Set aside even 20 min a day to do something for yourself that makes you feel better.
Divide and conquer. Communicate what you need done and if the work gets done, just be happy and let go of perfection.
3. Self-Care Tips for Parents
Taking care of your spiritual, physical and psychological health will help you be the best parent and professional you can be. There are many different self-care strategies out there because we are all unique so it’s important to find one that works best for you.
Even a 10min meditation can help you feel rejuvenated. If you have a problem falling asleep during or your mind won’t let you relax, use apps or guided meditations on YouTube or Spotify to walk you through it. You can also get your child involved as it’s a great lifelong skill that will benefit you both.
Listen to music
As Plato said, a long time ago music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. Use it to boost your mood and let it empower you to tackle whatever life throws your way.
Exercise is good for the mind and body. It can be as simple as walking for 20min or dancing it out to your favorite music.
Activate your senses
Light a scented candle, take a hot bath, listen to soothing sounds, drink some herbal tea or just savor your morning cup of coffee. It’s about being mindful and living in the moment, which is all we have.
Being a working parent is a juggling act. To survive with sanity intact, working moms and dads have to let go of perfection and remember that even the best jugglers drop the ball once in a while. All that matters is that you are doing the best you can. Integrating regular self-care strategies into your routine means helping yourself be the best you can be.