The start of the new school year is enough to send shivers down any new working parent’s spine. Everyone knows that the balance of work and career is an elusive one, you want to excel at both – but you don’t even know where to start.
Trying to juggle a full-time job and a family is not easy, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – but it is not impossible. You have to set a pace that works for your unique situation and, most importantly, you must learn to ask for help when you need it.
Being a single parent and having a career is even harder, but it is still not impossible. There are facilities available that can help you achieve the perfect work/home balance. Here are ten tips for balancing your career while raising your beautiful children:
1. Beware Of The Guilt
Ask any working parent and the first thing they’ll tell you about it is the guilt you’ll face. These feelings of stress and guilt are attributed to dividing your attention between your two greatest loves: your career, and your family.
The only way to get out of that guilt-hole is to focus your energy on creating a workable solution. If you’re planned and organized properly, you will be able to find the right balance between your career and being a parent.
2. Family Calendar
One of the best ways to gain control of this situation is to create a detailed family calendar that is kept in a central location. Choose a time to go through the calendar on a Sunday evening and plot out the week ahead.
Add all of the important meetings, appointments, sports games, and any other commitments to this calendar. That is the only way to know for sure that your schedule doesn’t overlap, even if you have the greatest memory in the family – no one person can remember everything, nor should they need to.
Family calendars only work if you keep them updated and stick to them – if it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t get done!
3. Find Good Childcare
Finding good childcare to look after your precious angels is not easy. If you choose to hire a nanny, you’ll have to set aside time to interview them and do a thorough background check. Ensure that you ask for references from any previous families they have worked for, as well as copies of any relevant qualifications.
Non-negotiable qualifications include a valid driver’s license and first-aid certificates.
4. Share Responsibilities
If both you and your spouse or partner work, you will have to learn to share the responsibilities. What works for so many parenting duos is to assign cooking and homework nights equally – one parent cooks and the other helps with the homework.
Sharing responsibilities makes all the difference when you have a willing partner around to help. Your schedules will need to be meticulously coordinated to avoid any hiccups.
5. Rules For Starting A New Job
If you’re starting a new job soon, you need to open a dialogue with your children so that they know what adjustments to expect in the coming weeks and months.
You can use a British Columbia tax calculator to help you work out your new net salary, that way you’ll know how much you can afford to spend on childcare. Any great balancing act will require extra cash.
6. Find Ways To Save Time
To get the most done in a day, you need to free up wasted time. Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t soak in the tub now and then to destress. It means that if there is a more efficient way to complete a task, then you should always opt for it.
Order your groceries online and get them delivered to your house; you will be shocked at how much time this will save you. If you can, do little errands during your lunch break – like picking up dry cleaning or collecting medication.
7. Prep Lunches The Night Before
Everyone knows that time moves so much faster during the morning rush. To get the kids bathed, them and the dogs fed, the laundry done, house tidied, and homework checked all before leaving the house is practically impossible.
Be smart and do as much as possible the night before. Pack lunches for your whole family the night before – not only will that save you time, but it will also save you from buying lunches for work just because you ran out of time.
8. Connect With Your Partner
While you are juggling your career and your kids – don’t forget about your partner. A happy home is only as happy as the people living in it. Make your marriage or a relationship a priority; that will have a huge impact on everything else.
Keep the nanny on for a few extra hours once or twice a week and go on regular date nights. Do the things that you enjoyed doing before life got so hectic that you had to plan it out on a calendar on your fridge.
9. Plan Fun Family Activities
I know these seem impossible right now, and you’re probably canning yourself laughing, but you will get there. Once you’ve settled into the rhythm that works for you and your family, you can plan fun activities for the kids.
Going for a hike on the weekend is a fantastic way to bond with the kids and exercise at the same time. The fresh air will be good for all of you and help clear your minds and steady your souls.
10. Stay Calm
The most important tip of all? Stay. Calm.
Things might seem crazy now, but once the dust settles and you’ve established your routine, all will be well. The trick to staying calm is to have your priorities in order. Once you know what matters to you everything else will naturally take a backseat.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you struggle at times – everyone makes mistakes; it’s only natural.