Dublin, 2 April 2018
Working mothers and fathers already know that it’s not always easy to balance out your children and the job. But it’s not impossible, either. It does, however, require a high degree of planning and, most of all, flexibility. Who takes the parental leave isn’t even always the issue anymore – it is more and more commonplace for fathers to take parental leave and rightfully so. There’s still some differences because in some places it’s still frowned upon for fathers to take some time off work. But that’s another issue and a discussion worth having on its own. In this piece, we start assuming that those important first years are over and that both parent are back to work. What can they do to assure that neither their family time, nor their working life are getting neglected and stay fulfilling? Read on to find out!
The daily routine of working parents differs vastly from that of your typical, childless single. For one, there’s a lot more pressure resting on their shoulders. All their planning must also take the needs and wants of the small ones into account. Not everything works according to plans and they must always be ready for any kind of surprise developments – no surprises here. We have some advice to keep things as stress-free as possible.
1. Split up tasks. It should be self-evident that both parents have to contribute and help out each other, because one of them alone can’t realistically take on all the tasks. At least, not without building up resentment, which isn’t ideal for the relationship in the long run. Split up all the tasks regarding home, children, travel plans and so on evenly. Children can alnd also should help out with simple household chores, according to their age.
2. Build a network. You are reading right – networking isn’t only for business. In those times, when something derails the established plans and you just need somebody to take care of the children on very short notice, it can be of immense help to have grandparents, friends or other parents to help out.
3. Stay flexible at all times. Be prepared to go with the flow and let go of even the best of plan. There ae always going to be surprises. Maybe you have to stay at work longer, maybe your child gets sick – whatever happens, keep your cool and calmly look for a solution (keep the second advice in mind).
4. Let go of your perfectionism. Of course it looks as though everybody else had a much better grip on their careers and children. But – trust us on this one – it only looks like it and you are no better or worse. Do your best, but be patient and understanding with yourself, even or especially when things don’t work out as planned.
5. Stay focused on the moment. Always be 100 percent in the moment, regardless if it’s at work or during family time and don’t let the other distract you. We have written countless times why this strategy boosts your career, but your children will be thankful too, if the time you spend with them comes from your heart.