Blog: 5 Survival Tips for Time-Crunched Working Parents
4 minute read: Everyone seems to be busy nowadays but as a working parent, you take that word to a whole new level. Ever felt that 24 hours is not enough in a day with the constant tug-of-war between your professional and parental life? If so, here are some hidden survival tips for you:
Put on your oxygen mask first
If you’ve ever taken a flight, you would be familiar with this instruction: put on your own oxygen mask first. This can be adopted as a mantra for parents everywhere. You cannot expect to take care of other people’s needs without taking care of yourself first.
One simple but hard to carry advice is simply getting enough sleep. Prioritise your sleep needs so that you can be the best version for yourself and your family. The best thing to do is to set a proper sleep schedule and stick to it. At the same time, enforce a bedtime for your kids which will benefit them as well and you can also plan your family schedule around that.
Time management is your best friend
Balancing both work and taking care of children is no easy feat. Therefore, parents have to manage their time wisely. To stop feeling overwhelmed by the never-ending tasks of a working parent, it is crucial to learn how to create clear to-do-lists and prioritise the most urgent tasks first.
That being said, no matter how busy you are, block out time to spend with your children every day. Children want nothing more than their parents’ love and attention, so even if it is just an hour a day to read them to bed or to share about your day, make every second count.
Flexibility is not just for yoga
This may be a difficult conversation to have and not every employer can be accommodating to your needs but if possible, speak to your work manager or supervisor if you are able to work flexible hours or even remotely from home.
Make use of communities or resources available that provides support or grants for parents who work. For example, there are also job portals to provide flexible working opportunities for mothers who wish to spend more time with their children. If you’re looking for other alternatives other than the typical 9-to-5, you can also consider working freelance or as a starting your own business.
It takes a village to raise a child
A lot of parents feel guilty about asking for help, but the truth is, everyone has a limited set of time and energy. No one can have it all and there is no shame in admitting that. If you feel yourself being stretched thin, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your family and friends to take the load off your shoulders.
Have a frank discussion with your partner about sharing the workload and create a roster for household chores. Rope your children in too with added incentives such as more pocket money to encourage them to pick up after themselves. This will foster an environment of open communication and shared responsibility, and the best part is that this will create more time for family bonding.
Parenthood is not a competition
When it comes to parenthood it is easy to start comparing yourself to other working parents and this can manifest in the form of guilt or anxiety that you are not doing enough for your children, especially when you spend a lot of time working. There is always a learning curve and there is no pressure to always have it together as everyone is just learning as they go along.
It is good to look at other parents for inspiration or parenting ideas but there is no use being overwhelmed without being productive. Instead of viewing it as a competition, seek advice and build a community with other parents who can provide a good support system and advice on how working parents balance their duties.
At the end of the day, there is no right and wrong when it comes to parenthood. Every dad or mum has his or her own style based on personal experiences and values. All you can do is find out what works best for you and your family. Want more articles like this? Sign up as Hopscotch Member to learn more tips, connect with like-minded people, and get your dream job.
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