Navigating the work-life balance can be difficult when you are a single parent. On the one hand, you have to provide for your family. On the other, you want to spend time with your children and ensure you are a good parent. While working from home can make taking care of your kids easier, there are also some downsides if your kids keep distracting you. So, how can you be a good employee and a caring parent at the same time? Take a look below for some essential tips.
Create a routine in your family
One thing that will help you stay on top of everything is creating a routine for your family. This will make it easier not only for you but for your kids as well. For instance, if they go to school, kindergarten, or any type of day care centre, make sure they are properly prepared for the following day. During the evening, you can lay out what they are going to wear, pack their bag, and potentially even prepare lunch for them. That way, no one will panic in the morning and wonder if you’ve forgotten something. Moreover, your kids should know when bedtime is, when they need to do their homework, and when dinner is. This routine will allow you to plan your workday down to the last detail.
Establish clear rules
In addition to a daily routine, you want clear rules that your kids will understand. If they are at home while you are working, they need to know not to interrupt you during work hours. Moreover, if you share custody with their other parent, they need to be aware of your rules and not try to contradict you. Finally, your kids need to understand that there are consequences for their actions so take certain measures to show how serious you are about respecting the rules if they misbehave.
Look into your childcare options
If you have young kids, finding some quiet time to do your work can be challenging. With that in mind, you should look into all possible options you have at your disposal when it comes to childcare. If your parents are available to babysit, great. However, some people simply don’t have that luxury. In that case, you need to find a trustworthy day care centre where you can drop your kids off. Not only will you have some free time but your little ones will get an opportunity to spend time with kids their own age and learn many new things. If you also have to work on weekends or need an occasional night off, you should also find a local babysitter that is flexible with time.
Learn to accept help from all sides
Many parents believe that they have to handle everything on their own. However, that is simply not true in most cases. Your family members and friends are surely willing to help you out, seeing as how they care about you. From asking them to take your kids to practice to giving them a shopping list of groceries you need, people close to you will lend a hand, no questions asked. Moreover, you can also create a support network of other single parents and you can help each other out occasionally by organizing sleepovers or picking kids up from school.
Spend quality time together
As balance is important, you also have to find time in your busy schedule for bonding with your kids. Whether you will watch TV together, play some board games, or go out for ice cream, the opportunities for spending some quality time together abound. Your kids surely miss you while they are away at kindergarten so try to find a job that will allow you to work at the same time so that you can spend your free time together.
Don’t forget about taking care of yourself
Finally, taking care of your kids and making sure everything at work goes smoothly can take its toll on you. That is why you cannot neglect your wellbeing. By taking a relaxing bubble bath and reading a good book to spending some time with friends, you can recharge your batteries and feel ready to tackle all upcoming challenges. Your family will most certainly understand and step in to take care of the little ones for a few hours.
It can be difficult balancing working from home and being a single parent. However, there are some things like creating a routine, finding quality child care services, and taking some time for yourself that can help you prevent burnout and stay on top of your obligations.