Juggling a job and raising kids isn’t easy. You need to make sure that you’re giving enough time to each one without running yourself into the ground. Below are a few tips on how to juggle the two responsibilities.
Talk to your employer about flexible work arrangements
Most employers are more generous when it comes to letting parents work certain hours. Make sure that your employer is aware of your situation and see if there is anything they can do to make your life easier. For example, an employer may allow you to arrive late so that you can drop kids off at school or finish early to pick up kids from school. Other employers may give you the option to work from home, so that you can more easily juggle work and kids. You may even be able to work out of office hours to better suit your schedule.
Get help from your partner/family members
Sharing childcare with a partner, family member or friends could allow you to work more flexibly without having to pay for childcare. Just make sure that this works around their schedules. It could be worth coming up with a weekly childcare routine so that everyone can plan around childcare and so that your kids know who will be looking after them. This will also make it easier for you to work regular hours.
Explore babysitting/day care options
Paying for childcare is sometimes necessary. When looking into paid childcare, make sure to explore your options. Some babysitting services and day care services can look after kids as young as 6 weeks or may be able to pick up kids from school. Some can even provide overnight childcare. Looking into these flexible options could allow you more freedom as to when you work. Just make sure to consider the cost, as well as doing your research into reviews (if available) so that you’re hiring someone that you can trust.
Plan your vacation time wisely
Most of us only get 3 weeks of vacation time. Make sure that you’re taking this time off when your kids are off school so that you can maximize time spent with them. Of course, if you feel you really need a break for yourself, you could take time off while kids are at school to give yourself this break, but it does mean that you’ll be at work more often when your kids are off. Some employers may allow extra vacation time for parents, but this extra vacation time is unlikely to be paid.
Don’t sacrifice sleep
Some parents choose to work at night so that they can be there for their kids during the day, but this often means sacrificing sleep. If you’re continuously not getting enough sleep, you’ll get ill and won’t be able to look after your kids – making the whole arrangement counterproductive. While you can choose to work late or get up early, there should still be time to sleep – whether it’s at night or in the day.
Take a look at some of the creative strategies I used when I had my own businesses when my kids were babies, when they were little and when they were older. And then use those as stepping stones to your own creative solutions!