Parent guilt. Stay-at-home parents often think they’ve ruined any chance at a career. Meanwhile, working parents are often consumed with guilt at the thought of not being present enough for their children. Whatever your situation, you may or may not have had the choice. And even if you had the choice, chances are, you feel you’re deceiving someone.
Let’s stop right there! Breathe in deeply and breathe out all that negative talk. You’re doing great. Be proud!
Breathe in, breathe out!
Parenting is no easy task. Add working full time to the equation and you have what one might call “a seemingly impossible task”. But that’s simply not true. In fact, mums and dads do it all the time.
So how can you be present for your kids while also being a star employee? Here are our top tips:
Let go of all that parental guilt
You know the one, the little voice that tells you you’re terrible because you’re thinking about that email that needs answering while you’re playing with the little one. Or the one that turns your stomach inside out when you realise you forgot about World Book Day and you have to makeshift a costume the night before. You know what that is? It’s life, it doesn’t make you a bad parent, quite the contrary, it shows you care.
We’re talking meal prep, up-to date calendars, online grocery shopping, packing school bags and work bags the night before, dare I say it…laundry…
Schedule a few evenings a week once the kids are in bed to get on top of some of the must-do’s above, and ensure your partner does their share too. It’ll be quicker and more fun.
All these seemingly negligible things will save you a tonne of time which you’ll instead be able to spend fully with your children.
If you know your children are well taken care of while you’re at work, be it with someone or in a setting you trust, you’ll be able to work, worry-free.
Child care solution are numerous and it’ll depend on your preferences and budget. If you’re keen on your children engaging in creative activities, and/or being immersed in a specific language, CocoRio is definitely the way to go. Our creative sitters are experts when it comes to providing a guilt-free child care solution!
Separate family time and work time
This one is almost always easier said than done, but worth a try. Depending on your position and seniority level, you might want to agree with your manager that you will log off exactly at 6pm and that you will not take any work home. If this is unrealistic, try a compromise where you log off work between a certain time and your children’s bed time.
If you’re working from home, actually packing away your laptop at the end of the work day and going for a quick walk around the block is a great way to bring your mind back to family life and to put work aside until the morning.
There’s nothing like mum efficiency!
Social media and other time wasters are not your friend if you aren’t using them for anything productive. No, we’re not saying you have to delete all your social media apps (though we’re told a social media cleanse once in a while is fab). Simply ensure you aren’t mindlessly scrolling. A good way to break the habit is to deactivate your notifications. This way you will only open the app if you have something specific you need to do…in theory…
In practice, you may need a few extra tips to get rid of the habit. Things like ensuring the apps aren’t on your first screen on your phone or setting yourself screen time goals may help.
Stop being so hard on yourself
At the end of the day, who’s judging? Most likely, you are. (Oh, and the perfect mum at the school gates, but who cares what she thinks, right?)
If you are a parent who is also in paid employment, chances are, you did not take this decision lightly. It may be the best financial option for your family, it may be that you absolutely love your job. Whatever the reason, you are doing it because you know it’s what’s best for you and your children, and you are the only one who can and should make that call for your family.