As a parent, there's an innate desire to do everything you can to provide for your children. At the same time, being a professional and a parent can be a major juggling act. There are times when you'll have more work than you can manage, but the kids need help. Lots of unexpected situations occur where the children will need more help than you can feasibly give. However, this reality shouldn't thwart your desire to do your best to be an amazing parent and professional. As a professional parent who's really looking to get a balance on it all, consider these four tips.
To be an incredible parent and a thriving professional, you've got to maintain a high level of organization. Your planner needs to be your best friend. If you prefer to write things down, carry a small planner. If you prefer to keep things electronically documented, use your calendar and sync it up with your phone. You can even set reminders for major items. Stay in regular communication with your child's teachers and coaches to know when major events are happening. Create a scheduled date with your children once a week of uninterrupted fun and conversation. Eliminate phones and electronics and plug into your family.
Hire a nanny or a babysitter to help the kids out when they first get home. If you work later than the kids get out of school, it's going to be tough consistently asking the boss to let you off earlier every day. Plus, you want to make sure you're fully present when you're on the clock. Hire a babysitter to help out with transportation, get snacks going and get the kids started on their homework. This will also buy you some extra time to mentally prepare yourself to take off the work hat and put on the parent hat.
Sometimes, your children will ask about what you do for a living. This is your opportunity to train them. You don't need to wait until there's an official "bring your child to work" day to show them what you do. For example, business owner Tracy Rawle teaches his sons the ropes of the business and what he does. You can do the same and inspire your children to get a head start on what it's like to be a professional.
Those mundane moments are the best times to really capitalize. If you have some down time and would like to relax, invite your children to join you for a movie night. Popcorn, movies and quality time will allow your family to feel like you're presently available to them. If you can't make it home in time for dinner some nights, bring home dessert and enjoy it with your family. If your spouse is missing out on quality time with you, invite them to wake up an hour earlier than usual, so that the two of you can cook breakfast together and catch up. It's all about being creative with the time you have.
There's no question about it. Maintaining a family is a top priority. Providing for that family is a top priority as well. There's no way to put one above the other. They go together. Even though they may seem to work against each at times, be intentional about what you can do and communicate what you can't do. You're one person and you've got to take care of yourself. At the same token, your spouse and children won't get any younger. Enjoy the time you have with them before it's too late. Work will always be available. Your children will grow up and move out. Don't miss out on the special times of their lives. As long as everyone works together, everything can work out just fine.
Written By: Hannah Whittenly
Hannah / Freelance Writer