Having children is one of the best things in the world, but it is also complicated and can be challenging, especially when you work too. Integrating work with children is one of the most difficult things as a parent, as it can feel as though you’re being pulled in two different directions all of the time, with very little time to yourself. Making decisions on childcare, working hours, parenting choices and your social life can be all too consuming, but there are ways in which you balance work and parenting.
Some people don’t like bringing their children to work, as they believe that it might appear as though they don’t take their jobs seriously. However, if your work welcomes it, then it is a good thing to do. It allows your colleagues and managers to meet your children and then, if you need to make family-related requests or decisions at work, these are more likely to be approved if your managers know your children and family. Don’t be afraid to talk about your children at work and, if there are any big milestones coming up, discuss these openly with your colleagues – they’ll likely be shocked at how quick time is going!
Early morning and late afternoon meetings could be trouble if you have to drop off or pick up your children at school or childcare. Traffic can be bad, things can go wrong in the morning or meetings could run over, meaning that you’re getting to or leaving work stressed and breathless. Give yourself a bit of breathing room and arrange meetings for mid-day so that you have some room either side. If your meetings are unable to be rearranged or scheduled for this time, then ask if you can do phone calls instead, or even video meetings.
If your child is quite young and is going to be at nursery or childcare, then preparing them for this and reaching their milestones as they grow is important. If they’ve started crawling, then dressing them in crawling appropriate clothing can help them get used to moving around. Things such as leggings and rompers are perfect little ones who are learning to crawl, as they are soft and flexible.
Preparing them for other milestones, such as weaning, is also important. If your little one is going to childcare facilities, then they will provide them with weaning-appropriate foods, but if family members are looking after them, then make sure you pack changes of clothes, weaning bibs and foods of your choosing. If your little one is a messy eater, then baby washcloths are handy to pack as well, so that they can be easily cleaned up. It’s important that your childminder follows your wishes for your little one’s weaning journey, and feeds them foods and dishes that you want your child to experience. Whilst it can be upsetting to miss out on your baby’s milestones, preparing them for these will help them in the long run.
As a working parent, it’s important not to dwell on the time you’re not spending with your child and instead focus on how your being a working parent is benefitting your family. By being a working parent, you’ll be able to provide your child with better experiences as they grow. By being a working parent, you will be efficient in both your home and work life. Accept that there will be both good and bad days and that stress is completely normal, but try not to let it take over. Getting rid of parent guilt is important and will allow you to focus on both your work and home life.