Are you about to return to work? Are you starting a new job or trying to launch your own business? This post has six tips to make life easier when you’re balancing work and family.
They say parenting is a full-time job, so how is it possible to juggle raising children and holding down a job? Many families can’t survive on a single income, so this is where the fine art of juggling becomes essential.
Here are some helpful tips to make life easier when you’re trying to balance work and family.
Ask for help and share the load
If you have little ones or you’re gearing up to go back to work, don’t feel that you have to do everything yourself.
If you have family and friends asking to babysit, take them up on their offer from time to time. Speak to friends who have children and work out a childcare schedule. You could carpool once a week to soccer practice or save yourself making the school run some days.
If you have more than one child, you’ll find coordinating with other parents incredibly beneficial. If your child is new to a school, make some new parent friends. You may find that you can really help each other out in the future.
Ask about flexible working hours
Many companies now offer flexible working hours. If you’re going back to a job or starting a new role, ask about your required hours. If you’re able to adjust your schedule, this could help out with taking the kids to school and picking them up.
If you can work from home some days, this may be extremely helpful if you still have very young children. You may also want to find out about opportunities for part-time work if you haven’t returned from maternity leave.
Take advantage of programs that are there to help
Finances are a primary concern for many families. If you could afford to take longer off work or become a full-time mom would you?
You may be eligible to take paid time off through short-term disability insurance, which makes life easier when it comes to paying bills. You may also be able to take advantage of dependent care tax credits and flexible spending accounts to offset childcare costs.
If your partner is in the military, it’s worth finding out about military daycare assistance, too. If you think you may be eligible for benefits of any kind, it’s always worth asking the question. Every little bit helps.
Hone your time management skills
Parenting is tough enough on its own. But if you’re working, too, life can get very hectic. Time management skills are extremely valuable, especially if you’ve got more than one child. Use calendars to keep track of meetings, appointments, and events.
Set reminders on your phone. Use a family planner to map out what everyone is up to. Check your calendar on a regular basis. This way, you’ll have a good idea of what’s coming up.
Related: Prep the Night Before
If you struggle with time, there are various things you can do to make the most of the time you have and reduce stress. Hire a cleaner once a week or do your grocery shopping online. Even simple changes can make a massive difference.
Become your own boss
If you’re sick of working for other people and you have the means and ambition, why not become your own boss? When you’re self-employed, you have greater control of your schedule, which makes childcare easier to work out.
You could work shorter hours to coincide with the school day. Or you could run a business from home so that you’re around to take care of younger children during the day. It’s not easy to be your own boss, but it does give you more control of your work-life balance.
Realize that you’re not superhuman
There are some times when you’ll have to turn down invitations or cancel plans. If you can’t get from point A to B to take one child to a party and another to a concert rehearsal, you’re not a failure. Ask around and see if anyone could help.
If not, it’s fine to say no from time to time. You don’t have superhuman powers and sometimes it’s impossible to do everything.
Everyone has times when they don’t feel like there are enough hours in the day. Sometimes, you have to admit defeat. But, in other cases, it may be possible to make better use of your time and be more efficient.
Save yourself time around the house and don’t be afraid to ask others for help. Coordinate with friends, family, and other parents. Ask your boss about flexible working arrangements and take advantage of benefits.