Finding the balance between being a parent and having a career is something with which many people struggle. I get it. I work from home and homeschool the kids a few days a week, so the struggle is real in our house.
You can have a successful and fulfilling career and be a good parent; it just takes some cooperation and sacrifice.
There never seems to be enough time, but if you make the most out of the time that you do have, it becomes easier to balance it all.
Key Tips to help achieve a balance between your career & family
When we are hard-workers, it can be difficult to stop working, even when you get home. It is important to remember that when you are not at your job; you need to focus on your family.
Leave work at work and try not to let your work stress come home with you. You can give your career your all, but at the end of the day, what you do as a parent will mean more than any job.
I always think of the song Cat’s in the Cradle, by Harry Chapin, whenever I am tempted to work when I don’t have to… while I’m with the kids. It serves as an excellent reminder of the results of choosing work when you don’t have to choose work…
Be in the moment
When you are not working, spend quality time with your children.
You don’t need to be spending money on your children; what you need to do is to give them your undivided attention. Having dinner together as a family is a way to keep communication flowing with your children and to keep up with everyone’s lives.
Make family time a priority and let your kids know that you love being with them and that you are CHOOSING to make time with them a priority. You can even get them involved in helping to remind you… and trust me, they won’t let you forget. 😉
While you are working…
While you are working, it is important to feel comfortable with the placement of your children. Many of us need help in caring for our children while we work.
Make sure that you have reliable care in order to minimize your stress while at work. Couples can sometimes coordinate their schedules so that the children will spend time with a parent instead of always being in school or in the care of strangers.
Sometimes, this doesn’t work and you will get a nanny, family member, friend or daycare provider to help. All of these are options and none are right or wrong, as long as you feel comfortable with your choice.
Be the example of hard work
Having a career is important for many reasons. Not just financially but for the parent’s self-worth. Being a parent is very fulfilling, but being well-rounded makes you a better parent.
Your children will grow into adults someday, and they need to learn the importance of hard work. Watching your example of how you work hard, but still, take time to live your life to the fullest, is the best way to teach your child how to accomplish this when they are grown.
As with all things… be their example.
Should you make the sacrifice?
For some people, it can feel like they have to choose between succeeding in their career and succeeding as a parent.
Often career choices can take time away from family. It is a personal choice of how you decide to handle this. Maybe advancing in your career can be put off until your children are older. This is where sacrifice comes in.
Again… this is a personal choice that you need to make. It needs to be what is best for you and YOUR family.
It is possible.
Ultimately, a parent needs to choose, on a weekly, daily, and even hourly basis where his/her attention needs TO between becoming the top in their career or being available for their child.
You can balance it by slowing your career growth to accommodate being there for your child. When both parents work together to balance it all, success can be found in all areas.
For more ideas, check out this working parent’s schedule.