Thursday 11 April 2024

Managing Parenthood and Full Time Employment

Gone are the days when women were expected to stay at home to look after the children while the man went out to work. Not only is the nuclear family no longer the ‘norm’, but many parents aspire to being successful in both their career and parenthood.

Whether you’re a single parent or in a relationship, juggling parenthood and full-time employment can certainly be tricky, and exhausting, at times. If you continue to struggle with the pressures of work, household chores, and looking after young children, you might start to suffer from anxiety, overwhelm and stress, which will eventually lead to burnout.

Not everyone finds the pressures of managing a successful career and parenthood a walk in the park. Juggling all the responsibilities of full-time employment and raising children can leave very little time for relaxation or social activities.

Because many of us want to appear as if we have everything under control and we worry what our boss or colleagues might think of us if we show any signs of struggling, we continue in silence and avoid asking for help.

Nowadays, companies have a responsibility to assist working parents and offer alternatives for their work situation. Being unable to work overtime due to parental responsibilities, for example, shouldn’t mean that you can’t do your job properly during normal working hours.

Ways you can lighten the load

  • Ask your manager for flexible working hours. If you discuss your situation with management, they may help you devise a plan that will assist you, such as working from home a couple of days a week. Lunch time and the time you’ll save from commuting could free up much-needed time where you could perhaps catch up on some household chores.
  • If your workload is unmanageable and it starts to eat into your home life, speak to your boss about how they can help. Maybe they can allocate some of your tasks to a colleague or extend the deadlines.
  • If you’re in a relationship, ensure you share parental responsibilities. Perhaps one of you can focus on the morning routine while the other takes care of the evening routine. That way it can relieve some of the pressure for both of you. 
  • Be more organised. We often get stressed because we don’t have any plans in place so the morning rush seeing to the kids and yourself and getting to work can seem frenzied. Make a plan the night before of what you need to do, or even prepare things such as packed lunches, PE kit, changing bag etc. You could even make meals in a slow cooker to save time when you get home from work.
  • Don’t set yourself unrealistic goals. Try not to compete with other parents who might have more free time than you. There’s no pressure to bake the best cakes for the school fayre or volunteer for the parent’s committee! Although they might be nice to do, decide whether or not they are priorities.
  • Make time for yourself either alone or as a family. When you do more of what you enjoy, your mental wellbeing will be in much better shape, meaning you’re more able to cope with any challenges and tasks that lie ahead. You might want to consider recruiting a childminder, friend or family member so that you enjoy some much-needed time off.

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