5 Tips for Achieving Work-Life Balance as an Employed Parent (Guest Post)
Posted Sep 09 2011 12:00am
Whether you are currently pregnant and are on maternity leave, or you have just had your child, you cannot help but think about the future. While now it is more common for mothers to pursue a career after having children, it is always a struggle striking a fair balance between having a financially and personally rewarding career while making time to be an enthusiastic and effective parent. A recent Forbes article discussed the trials and tribulations inherent in working parent situations. Surveys cited in the article have indicated that many working mothers realize that they cannot have it all, but they make do with what they can. Here are a few tips for new mothers who plan to begin or return to their careers after having children.
1.Plan short- and long-term goals with your partner regarding parenting and your respective careers.
The most important thing to keep in mind if you intend to be a working parent is that you will need all the support that you can get in raising young kids. Talk to your partner or co-parent about their career plans. If you are taking on a high-demand job, your partner should be willing to take on more parenting tasks if their respective job is less demanding. Talk to your partner as clearly as you can about how both your lives will change, what each is willing to sacrifice, and come up with a back-up plan in case your goals don’t work out.
2.Talk to your boss about your career goals and how they may change with having children.
Most employers are very understanding of working parents and are supportive as possible. If you are staying with the same company and you intend to spend more time with your children, ask for a possible switch in positions within the company. Ask your boss what he expects from you now that your family situation has changed. Discuss with him or her your future.
3.Don’t be too hard on yourself.
If there is one thing that is certain about working and parenting at the same time, it’s this—you will be very often feeling tired and overwhelmed. Don’t feel guilty if you cannot muster the energy you desire to play with your children every day. Don’t feel guilty that you weren’t able to be the very best and most efficient worker on your team or project. Remember that the key to making everything work is balance.
4.Prioritize your time well, while still allowing for flexibility.
Do you know working mothers who seem to be able to get a superhuman amount of things finished for both work and their children? And somehow they still manage to go out with you for dinner, or meet you for a long conversation over tea? You may wonder how on earth they manage to get everything finished. Of all those brilliant working mothers I know, one aspect that they all have in common is that they ruthlessly prioritize their time.
5.Take time to enjoy!
Everyone needs a break—from everything, job and kids included—in order to maintain sanity and be the best parent and worker you can be. As such, always make time to spend doing things you enjoy, either with friends, family, your partner, or yes, even alone.
Parenting is one of the most difficult and simultaneously rewarding activities you’ll ever set out to undertake. But leading a full life, including a career, is possible if you have a good attitude about balancing your life from the day your child is born. Of course, as noted in the Forbes article, you won’t have it all. Still, you can always find a happy medium that works for you and your family by making necessary adjustments.
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.