Building your career is already difficult, so tacking on parental duties makes everything a bit harder overall. Whether you’re working from home or commuting to work, part-time employment while being a full-time parent takes plenty of careful planning if you want to avoid spreading yourself too thin. But oftentimes, it just so happens that spreading yourself thin just comes with the territory.
If you’re struggling to find that livable, breathable balance between working and parenting, we’ve got some helpful tips that can reduce stress levels, increase productivity, and optimize your time spent with the kids!
Tip #1: Wake up earlier
Say your remote job requires you to be up and working by 9 am. Wake up a couple hours before hand to give yourself time to organise your day and your child’s day. By the time 9 am rolls around, your workstation laptop is powered on and ready to go, your coffee has been perfectly brewed, and the kids are busied with colouring books and educational toys. By making time for your regular morning routines, you won’t need to fill your breaks from work with chores and annoying housekeeping tasks.
Tip #2: Set a schedule
If your job allows flexible hours, use it to your own schedule-making advantage. Going about your days and weeks without a solid plan in place can make parenting difficult. Even though your job may be loosely structured, you child will likely need a sense of a routine to keep things peaceful and moderated. Schedule out breakfast time, lunch time, and dinner time. Plan out how you will utilise breaks, and do the same with weekends too! The end goal is to give your undivided attention to both your work and your child, but you must have a working schedule in place so there’s no messy overlap.
Tip #3: Hire a babysitter
If you know you have a big day of presentations or an important video call that requires your complete attention, you still want to be sure your child receives the care they need. Hiring a babysitter for those big days may be the answer you need to a sticky dilemma. Sitter sites like Care.com and SitterCity are exceptional options that connect you to local sitters in your area and their available schedules for booking.
Tip #4: Entertain the kids
Revel in how easy it is to entertain infants and toddlers while you can. As they grow older, new toys and funny sounds won’t earn the same happy reception. By keeping the kids entertained, you accomplish two tasks—they’re happy, and you’re able to focus without any interruption. Anytime you have a free break to step away from your workload, join in on the fun and get some well-earned, stress-free playtime with your babies.
Tip #5: Quit multitasking
As much as we’d like to think we’re accomplishing more when we multitask, we usually only give a half-effort to the many things we’re tending to. Instead of trying to perfect dividing your attention, take things one task at a time with your full attention. This can keep you from making data entry mistakes or feeding your little one a full potato rather than mashed potatoes!
Tip #6: Keep things tidy
It’s easy to let the cleanliness and organization of your home fall by the wayside when you’ve packed your schedule up with plenty of things to do, people to see, and mouths to feed. However, the more cluttered your home is, the more cluttered your brain is. Making a weekly or daily effort to tidy up ensures a safe and clean environment for your kids, and a fresh thinking space for you. At the end of the day, no one wants to be welcomed home to a kitchen full of dirty dishes.
Tip #7: Embrace structure
Developing and adhering to a new structure can be hard, especially when the entire family needs to follow suit. But over time, you’ll be patting yourself on the back for being able to maintain your sanity while raising a family and building your career.
Plenty of part-time jobs offer wide flexibility, but you should always treat your work life and home life with purposeful intention. Don’t forget to have fun! The weekdays may be crunch time, but the weekends should be spent relaxing with the ones you love most.
Disclosure – This is a collaborative post