Are You A Working Parent?
Many freelancers find themselves in a position in which they need to both work and earn money to support their families. They find that, in the aim of benefiting themselves with the luxury of living life freely, they cannot ignore the responsibilities of their homes.
This particular position includes a working group of individuals who are parents and who have the additional responsibility of caring for their children and homes while they work. Being a working parent often involves finding a balance between the three.
It is a challenging job for working parents to manage their homes, children and work. This triple responsibility often involves work overload and worrying levels of stress. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. To more efficiently balance these three parts of life, working parents can use these nine clever tips.
1. Let the work stay at work
After getting back home, avoid doing anything related to work—such as checking work emails or doing any remaining office work. However, there are always times when work cannot be simply left at work. If you do find yourself bringing office work home, make sure you work in a private place and shut the door, so that you are completely present and focused to complete the task. Although it might be tempting, avoid doing any office work at the dining table or in the bedroom, which can both be distracting.
2. Make a family calendar
Organise a weekly or monthly family calendar and hang it where it is convenient to view. Be creative and use different patterns or colours to mark separate events for your attention. Include upcoming occasions, birthdays, school events and holidays—even carpool details—to the calendar. Keeping a detailed calendar will not only keep you organised, but it will also help you more effectively schedule your workdays around your family’s priorities.
3. Keep a flexible workplace
Studies show that many employees have left certain jobs because companies did not offer flexibility at work. Make sure you ask your employer—or organise it yourself, if you are a freelancer—about the flexibility that you can work with and what role will the company offer you if you need to change your working hours.
4. Use the internet
Technology can be a great blessing to working parents—especially being able have anything delivered to your home by ordering online. So, why waste time? Spend more time with your family by shopping online and having your goods delivered. There are even the benefits of ordering products online with afterpay repayment plans, which conveniently allow you to purchase what you need and pay for it later in workable amounts over a set time frame.
5. Pay attention to yourself
Balancing the triple responsibilities of work, children and the home doesn't mean that you should deter from giving time to yourself. In fact, it is crucial to spare time—even a small amount of it—for your hobbies and interests. It will help you avoid the stress and anxiety that may grow from always focusing on the care of others and other things.
6. Prepare things the night before
Mornings are never easy—particularly for working parents. You need to get your children ready for school, have breakfast set, complete all your morning chores and get yourself ready for work on time. If you prepare the little things that can be prepared the night before—pack anything you need to take, choosing clothes or finishing any of your morning duties—then you will be able to save yourself a lot of time and make your mornings that little bit more manageable.
7. Plan meals
There are ways of saving time in terms of preparing your food. Plan your meals weekly and ahead of time. Cut and prepare the food you will eat for the week and pack it in portions. You can partially pre-cook and then freeze it—fully cooking it or reheating it afterwards to be eaten during the week. This will save you valuable time compared to what it usually takes to buy, prepare and cook meals all at once.
8. Share the workload
Don't try to perform the work alone. Whether it be a higher workload from your job or an impending pile of washing, ask your partner, family and friends to help you when you are struggling. If you can, you should set and organise your work at home as you do for your office, which will ensure that you are not burdened with too much work all at once.
9. Don't be a perfectionist
It may be tough to admit sometimes, but there are some deadlines that you simply won’t be able to meet. It’s okay! Relax. You are not a machine that can do everything seamlessly and error free. Don't compare yourself with others who you think have everything under control. Life is not meant to be perfect, so it is okay if the bed doesn't stay made or if you order take out for dinner somedays. Balancing all three responsibilities of homes, children and work means that you do the best you can, when you can.
With these nine simple tips, working parents can make little changes in their responsibilities that will lead to greater changes in their lives—it's all about tackling the triple lives of working parents in a smarter and more efficient manner.