Being a working parent is a challenging role. It involves a balancing act between meeting your child’s needs for care and attention, sharing a satisfying relationship with your partner and friends and being a reliable and competent employee, while trying to enjoy life and parenthood.
Tresillian Family Care Centres have put together some great tips to help working parents.
Make life easier by:
- Setting realistic and achievable goals for you and your family
- Asking for help
- Changing your expectations and priorities around the house
- Involving other supportive adults in the planning and sharing of parenting and household responsibilities
- Being realistic about what can be achieved each day
Routine is important. Having an unpredictable lifestyle is time consuming and unsettling for everyone. Young children become frustrated, overwhelmed, and rushed when routines are frequently changing (understandably, sometimes it cannot be helped). Talk to your partner about household responsibilities and expectations as a parent and adult household member.
Starting and finishing the day on a happy note by:
- Giving yourself extra time in the morning
- Rethinking what is essential to be completed before leaving the house each morning
- Packing your work and childcare bags the night before
- Using the time in the car as a valuable opportunity to connect with your child both on the way to childcare and on the way home. Sing songs, and listen to your child when they talk to you
- Leaving work stresses at work
- Organising the next day’s clothing the night before for you and your child
- Avoiding conflicts and fights in the morning – it is always a no win solution for everyone
- Getting your child to bed early ensures they have adequate sleep for development and growth.
Avoid feeding stresses by:
- Preparing double amounts of food and freeze for later
- Investing in a slow cooker and put dinner on before you leave for work
- Remembering your evening meal does not have to be a hot meal
- Depending on the age of the child, try and enjoy dinner around the table with the television off and all family members present. This is a good habit to get into and provides a great opportunity to interact as a family
Get on top of the washing by:
- Washing and hanging the clothes the night before
- Folding washing properly and save ironing
Reduce shopping headaches by:
- Adding an extra hour to childcare for shopping later in the day
- Avoiding taking tired and hungry children shopping
- Considering shopping online or in the evening, ask your partner to do the shopping
- Doing one big weekly shop to avoid the need to shop everyday.
Be prepared for when children get sick by:
- Ensuring your employer knows you are also a parent, so if your child does become sick you can take leave
- Arranging a backup plan such as a grandparent or a good friend to be on standby
Maintain family harmony and think of yourself by:
- Taking time out for yourself and your partner to reconnect and maintain a healthy relationship
- Going for a walk, taking time to talk and listen to each other even if it is only for a short time
- Planning regular enjoyable family activities that are simple (i.e. once a month take the family into the city – kids are fascinated with tall buildings and sailing boats on the harbour!). It is these activities that provide your children with family memories later in life!
- Continuing or start to do a regular exercise program. This is an essential part of caring for yourself
Each year Tresillian assists close to 80,000 families with young children across New South Wales. Tresillian pride themselves on offering a caring and personalised service to parents in the early years as we help them gain confidence in their own parenting abilities. New South Wales parents who need assistance can call Tresillian Parent’s Help Line on (02) 9787 0855 or 1800 637 357 (Freecall outside Sydney). Speak to a Tresillian Nurse on-line at Tresillian Live Advice
Do you have tips for working mums? Share yours below....