Parenting Tips

How Can Parents Balance Family and Career?

Jenny Many Editorial Team

More parents are in the workforce today than ever before. If both parents are working, it can be a challenge to manage both family as well as a career. Women have fought for their rights to be in the workforce despite having children. While both work and family are absolutely essential,  there is a need to juggle and multi-task in order to balance work life and manage your children.

Tips for Juggling Family and Career

Taking Leave

During initial stages, when just giving birth and having a baby, be sure to take leave from work. Most companies these days offer both maternity and paternity leaves for a few months. Maybe you and your partner can take different months to take care of the baby. In any case, try to get some extra assistance by hiring a nanny or a caretaker. When you take leave, you and the caretaker can take care of the baby together. When you restart work after four or five months of giving birth, your partner and the nanny can work together in taking care of the baby.

It is more common to get a maternity leave than a paternity leave, and it largely depends on which company you work for. It is vital that there is an option to obtain leaves, especially for the mother, to bond with the baby. At the initial stages, babies are extremely vulnerable and need their parents by their side the most. Parenting is a huge step and is becoming more common for both parents (especially men) to take on more parenting responsibilities. Unlike our parent’s generation where mostly women took charge of children, men are contributing more towards child-care. It is important to focus on work,  but once you decide to have a baby, your primary focus should be on your baby’s health and well-being.

When You Return to Work

When you are back at work after maternity or paternity leave, you need to make sure that your child is left in safe hands. It is crucial that you focus on your work and do your best at the job, but at the same time make sure that your child is with a nanny or at a nursery. Most parents who work leave their children at a daycare home until they return from work. Finding quality child care is a must and can be very challenging.

In many cities, there are many options for day care centers and the number of babysitters being advertised is increasing. Make sure you find the best centre for you and your child. Your child should be comfortable being in the daycare without overly crying or being too emotional. It is one of the biggest challenge parents face to find a place for their children to stay when they work.

Sometimes it is not an option for parents to take their children to work. On very rare occasions, parents can bring their kid to work since the workplace provides a daycare facility. If this is not feasible for you, there are still many other ways you can engage your child while you are at work. The less your child relies on you for emotional support and the more independent they can be during playtime, the better it is for you as a parent. 

Focusing on Work

Focusing on work when you have a family to worry about, can be very difficult. You need to voice your concerns to your boss or employer. If you must leave work for a family emergency, you need to make sure this is possible. Be open about your childcare responsibilities at work, especially if you are a single parent. While at work, it is important that you focus on your work as much as possible, without thinking or worrying about your family. You can still check up on them occasionally, such as calling the day care or calling your partner, but make sure you create a good impression at work.

Try to conduct all your work responsibility with maximum focus and try to discuss work issues more than family issues. Finding a job, you are passionate about can be an added advantage because you will feel like doing the work. Not many people have the leisure to find the job they enjoy, especially when they must worry about paying the bills daily.

You should limit distractions that remind you of family when you are focussing on work. Keeping in touch during lunch hours is a good idea. You may even have a video call with your child if that works for you. But remember that you can become emotionally invested to a point that you feel guilty if you're not taking care of your child when at work. Try to avoid this and understand that you are indeed doing your best. Keep working hours purely to focus on your work-related commitments.

Take Time for Yourself

When you are invested in your family, it can be easy to lose track of yourself. You might forget to take care of yourself and do things that you enjoy doing. One of the reasons why working is necessary is because you can spend time doing things other than taking care of family. Whether at work or outside, make sure you take some time for yourself. Try spending time with your friends or watching movies with your partner. Once you have a child, it doesn’t have to be all about them. They will surely be the biggest priority in your life, but you need to take care of your own health and well-being.

Try getting some exercise by joining a gym for an hour or jogging in the park. Eat and drink healthy meals. Talk to people who encourage mental health. This will be particularly difficult if you are divorced and a single parent. If you have a partner, the support will be very beneficial because you will be looking after each other. Other ways you can focus on your well-being in investing time for your hobbies and taking some time to unwind from everyday stressors.


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