Are you a working parent and constantly looking out for ways to put your best in your personal and professional life? This blog is for you.
Parents have a crucial role in sculpting their child’s adult life. When it comes to growing your child well and teaching them values, parents need to understand that they are the very first teachers of their child. When both parents are working, it may have some positive and negative influences on your child. There is more than sufficient income to spend on your child but maybe you have less time to effectively connect with your kids.
Many parents visit me for parent counseling services. They say that they feel like even after trying their best to manage their house and office duties still it feels like something is pulling their attention. As a result, they are piling up stress that they do not understand how to find the way.
Managing a job and kids can be challenging. When trying to be perfect at both, life becomes hectic and stressful. Some parents feel guilty for not giving enough time to their kids because of their jobs which may make them take drastic decisions such as quitting their job and sacrificing their professional careers.
Working parents necessitates some incredible skills to ensure the perfect balance between your parental duties and work performance. Parents can establish a lifestyle that makes enough time for their family as well as their careers.
In this blog, I am going to talk about parenting, working parents, and some amazing parenting tips and techniques for working parents that will help you create a well-balanced work life and personal life.
How Working Parents Influence Their Child’s Development ?
Undeniably, a parent extremely influences his kid’s psychology. It may get complicated if both parents are employed. Parents may lack to give attention to their child, it affects the psychological and behavioral aspects of the child. Earlier, raising a child well was not difficult because of joint families as there were many caregivers to attend to the child. However, in nuclear families it’s quite difficult to manage professional and kid’s responsibilities.
Positive effects of working parents:
- High-quality lifestyle. They have enough money to spend on lifestyle, education, and extra activities.
- Life experiences: As both parents are working, they have plenty of experiences to share with their kids.
- Independence: Children become more independent at an early age as parents spend most time out of the house.
- Value of time: As parents have fewer hours to spend with kids, they realize the worth of time and always try to make the most of it.
- Respect parents: Children acquire from their surroundings. They see the way their parents are balancing home and work, it makes them develop more respect for their parents.
Negative effects of working parents:
- Emotional effects: Most working parents need to hire nannies or pick daycare facilities when they have no family support available. Any compromise with the quality of attention negatively impacts a child’s emotional health.
- Mood swings and behavioral changes: When parents are not able to spend enough time with their children and are spending more time with caregivers, they tend to be aggressive and more stubborn.
- Upset parent-child relationship: If both parents are extremely busy with their careers and spend less time with their children there is a high chance their bond with their children may suffer significantly. This gap may widen as the child grows.
Read: Your Guide to Stress-Free Parenting
Common Challenges Encountered By Most Working Parents
When my husband left the world, our business was suffering immensely so I had to take the charge. At that time, my daughters were 8 and 13 years old. I had to raise them well, along with my professional responsibilities. I genuinely worked very hard and smartly to balance both responsibilities. I focused on giving my 100% to the present moment. When I was at work, I was completely indulged in my work and when I was with my daughters, I was completely involved with them. And if I can then all parents can.
Parenting in the digital age comes with several good and bad, especially for working parents. As a life coach, many people visit me for parent-child counseling and other parenting-related issues. So I know their struggles while doing their job and keeping up with parental responsibilities.
Here are the most common struggles of working parents that you can easily relate to.
- The transition from office to home can be grueling:
Every so often, exit from the office definitely doesn’t mean the work for the day is finished. You might be doing some research, answering emails, and calls, or even having to meet a client before heading home. Many times it’s tough to turn off work even after you enter the home.
- The necessity for child care:
Sometimes your parents are not able to be with you so that they can take care of the child in your absence. In that case, it is pretty tough to maintain the balance. You may need assistance with many things in the form of a nanny, daycare, or babysitter.
- Trouble sustaining a healthy lifestyle:
Your health may suffer due to workload and performing your household duties. Because of a hectic schedule, you may be unable to get time for self-care, proper meals, exercise, etc. It may contribute to mild fatigue, lack of energy, or other serious health issues.
- Endless wrestling with guilty emotions:
You may constantly have guilty feelings while you consider choosing your career over the home. You may blame yourself for not being able to spend more time with your child.
- Constant endeavors to multitask and be perfect:
The everyday problem for working parents is a constant juggling between personal and professional life. I have seen many parents who are suffering a lot while trying to multitask to create a balance between work and kids. When you constantly strive to be perfect in both facets, it can be extremely stressful.
Parenting Tips And Techniques For Working Parents That Work Wonderfully
Now the question arises, what can you do to manage your professional and personal responsibilities excellently?
Initially, when I came into our business, I had to take care of the kids as well as work. My friends used to ask me, how do you manage your work and kids so well?
My answer was, whatever I do I give my hundred percent. I preferred quality over quantity. Our business was not doing well at that time and I had to start from the beginning so I was not able to spend more time with my daughters. However, I made sure that even if I spent less time with my kids, I made the most of it. That is how I raised them very well without any complaints. And the outcome is, today they are successful and living their best life.
When people come to me for parent counseling services, I suggest the same to them. I help people learn from my personal life experiences. Other than that, I help them learn skills and tactics that help maintain a balance between their work life and personal life. With my years of experience, here I am suggesting such parenting techniques that can make a difference in your parenting style.
Spend quality time:
Nothing can swap the value that you fetch to your kid’s life by investing your time in them. I know, you may have a busy schedule but get some time to spend with your child and make the best of it. Ask your child about the day, interact and listen to them, play with them and make them laugh. This will help you reduce your stress levels and guilt of not being with them throughout the day.
Make your child feel that he/she is special to you and you love him. For example, make sure you do dinners together and plan some playing time or game nights on weekend nights. You can spend some time playing with your kids in the park. Plan regular vacations to spend some quality time. Be creative and deliberate about the time you spend with your kids.
No professional work and worries at home:
I know sometimes, it could be urgent but still try not to bring office work at home. Make sure you finish all your professional responsibilities before you enter your home. Bringing office work home can make you irritable and can reduce the personal time you need to spend with your child. Don’t let your work ruin your family time.
Kids can pick up your mood if you are coming home with work stress after a long day. Make sure you come home in a relaxed mood, keeping your work-related tensions at the office. Only then you can spend quality time with your child and keep up with the work-life balance.
Work smarter more than working harder:
The most significant parenting tip, focus more on working smart than working hard. This is a great way to keep the stress away.
For instance, you are working on a big project and at the same time, your child’s exams are on the way. Both are equally important. So what you can do is, chunk out your tasks into smaller ones so that you can easily work on that project as well as help your kid prepare for exams. Plan and prioritize both aspects and start accomplishing so that you can seamlessly devote the required amount of time to both.
Make the best use of your lunch breaks:
As smart parents, you can dedicate your lunch breaks to being at the top of parenting responsibilities. You can wisely utilize your lunch breaks without putting much pressure on your shoulders. For example, you can check into the school forms, go through the academic reports of your child, or run other essential errands. If possible, you can go for lunch with your child.
Parenting in the digital age can be more convenient, as you can use your lunch break to connect to your kid over a video call if they are back from school. It’s a great way to connect and express your care. Hearing the happy voices of your kids can also ease your work-related worries and light up your day.
Get help to make it easy:
Working at the office the whole day, handling kids, and maintaining household chores can drive you crazy. I am sure nobody would love accomplishing professional tasks, cleaning unwashed dishes, cooking dinner, doing the laundry, and all. It can drain you even if both partners are involved. After doing all these errands, you may not be able to spend valuable time with your child.
So, you can hire a household for household chores, so that you can concentrate better on your jobs and child. The fewer tasks you are having in your daily to-do list, the additional time you get to engage with your kids. Entering home and paying complete attention to your children rather than house errands will make you feel good.
Parents should work together:
When both parents are working they should manage their responsibilities together. And believe me, it will be much easier to balance everything. When your schedule is overly busy, ask your partner for help. Harmonizing your responsibilities in relationships will help you create a better work-life balance.
For single-working parents, it could be a little more challenging. But it’s not impossible, after my husband passed away, nothing was easy for me but I managed everything with the right approach. Parent counseling services can help you manage your parenting and professional duties beautifully. I can make you learn the most effective parenting skills that work amazingly.
Stop feeling guilty:
Many parents come to me for counseling and they share their parenting-related challenges and their experiences with me. Most parents feel guilty about choosing their career while raising their kids. Women are more prone to these feelings because they feel their kids should be their priority. Yes of course kids should be, but that doesn’t mean you should not prioritize your career.
Instead of thinking negatively, look into the brighter side and realize the benefits. It’s better to balance both aspects of life rather than blaming yourself for pursuing your career while growing your kids. Recognize that you are working for your kids, to give them a better life.
Honest conversations with your children:
I can understand how tough it is to leave your kids while leaving for work and tell them you will meet them in the evening. I had that experience initially when I shifted from being a housewife to be a working mother. However, when you honestly tell your child about your work, it can help them understand you and bring about their expectations.
For instance, you can tell them how you feel when you leave for the office, you are working to give a better living to them, why you like your job, and what you do at the office, etc. These honest talks can help you create a love-filled bond with your kid.
When I was in the harshest phase of my life, my husband attempted suicide because of some huge blunders in our business. At that time my daughters were not very mature as I told you earlier still, I never hide anything from them. I honestly told them everything about our situation at that particular time. I said we are in a tough situation but I will do my best to make everything work. I shared everything with them in a positive way without making them scared or hurt but making them understand. They managed their expectations accordingly. Even now when my daughters are well settled, I prefer making honest conversations with them.
Be a role model for your children:
While parenting in the digital age comes with many benefits, it also has some negative effects. Kids can easily lean toward what they watch on their phones, social media, etc. Things can easily impact your kids, especially if both parents are working and not checking up on these kids more frequently.
As I said earlier, children learn most from their surroundings, their parents, and their families. The way you are behaving in front of them, they will learn the same. Suppose, during disputes you are shouting or behaving aggressively in front of your child. When the same situation happens to them, they are more likely to behave aggressively too.
Practice good traits with your child such as expressing gratitude, saying thank you, offering compliments, honesty, kindness, respect, and tolerance.
Take care of yourself:
Maintaining stability between professional and personal life is not as simple as walking in the park. If you are taking good care of yourself only then you can take better care of your family.
Not eating properly, not exercising, no time for walks, not spending time with yourself, and not paying attention to your well-being, then how will you perform your parental and professional duties?
Get some time for yourself, meet friends, pamper yourself, and feel good about yourself. Taking good care of yourself rejuvenates you and recharges you to manage your duties well.
Read: Development of Self-Control in Young Children: A Life Coach’s Perspective
Do not stick to a certain parenting style:
In another blog, I talked about different parenting styles. Parents raise their kids in unique parenting styles. However, you should not stick to a definite parenting style, it may not be suitable for every situation. You should be flexible enough to adjust your parenting style depending on the circumstances. Being willing to modify your parenting style is crucial for working parents for a healthier work-life balance.
A particular parenting style works on a particular age group or situation. If your parenting style was working great when your child was 3 years old, it doesn’t mean it will remain the same when your child is 8 years old. Parent counseling services can help you understand your parenting style, which style will work best for your child, and how to modify your parenting style depending on the situation.
Unquestionably, being a career-oriented parent can be extremely stressful. You do not want to risk any of your professional or personal life as both are important for your being. I know it’s difficult for working parents to accomplish everything appropriately while parenting in the digital age. You also need to check your child’s screen time, other online activities, and all.
Stop being guilt-ridden and make yourself realize that you are establishing a great example for your children by being loving and hardworking parents. Try the above-enlisted parenting techniques to make your efforts more successful. Find out the non-essential things you can cut out from your to-do list and spend the best time with your kids.