The days of being either a worker or a parent are largely behind us, as more and more parents stay in the workforce, even after they have kids. They still value their careers, and, as much as they also value their families, they don't just want to throw away a college education and everything they've been working to build up over the years.
Of course, this can make it a bit harder to parent as effectively as you'd like. The situation can be rather chaotic, and parents need to be ready for all that it entails. If you're a parent trying to balance work and family life, use these tips to make things go smoothly.
1. Keep in touch. You probably hired a nanny, dropped your kids off at grandma's house, or at least took them to daycare. It's best to stay in touch through text, phone, or online options. Even if you don't need to actively help parent, this makes the transition easier because you can get updates and pictures of yours kids, making you feel more involved.
2. Don't take your work home with you. Stay at the office, get things done, and come home when you can really relax and be with your kids. Time management, and splitting up your time effectively, is key. Thinking about work or trying to get extra things done at the house just adds stress you don't need.
3. Make sure vacation time is family time. You only get so many paid days off every year. Don't waste them. This may mean skipping little things that would be fun to attend, but it pays off when you get 10 days in a row with your kids.
4. Use the time you do have wisely. This is about more than just vacation time. You may only have a few hours from the time you get home to the time your kids go to bed. Spend it with them, not rushing around trying to get other things done.
5. Have emergency plans in place. Kids get sick. Schools have to close due to bad roads. All sorts of things can come up and disrupt your schedule. Having a plan ready in advance allows you to absorb these changes easily.
As many couples are finding out, it's very possible to have both a career and a family. You just need to know how to budget your time and plan ahead. Take a tip from me and hire a service for that holiday home cleaning.