Work-life balance for parents: 5 tips
School’s out for summer! A very exciting time for kids and, while happy to have them home full-time, a possibly stress-inducing time for working parents. According to Fit for Work, half of the UK’s 11 million working parents say their work-life balance is a source of stress with many feeling a sense of guilt that they cannot give their work or home life as much time as energy as they would like to.
Here are 5 work-life balance tips to help you manage your workload while enjoying having your little ones home full-time.
Communicate with your manager
Consider speaking to your manager about a flexible working scheme, something any employee working within a company for more than 26 weeks is entitled to. Suggest working from home, working part-time or condensing your workload during the summer months. Chances are, you will not be the first parent to ask for this and your company may already have procedures in place for working parents.
Many of us struggle to ask our employers for what we need, for tips on making those conversations successful, check out our eBook How to Start a Difficult Conversation.
Schedule your day the evening before
Whether it’s getting the kids to childcare or meeting your manager’s deadlines, scheduling your day the evening before will make the world of difference in terms of finding balance.
- Try mapping out your next day’s to-do list in order of importance before you leave work
- Pick out the kids’ clothes and set the breakfast table before bed
- Schedule meetings so you will have some downtime to catch up during the day
Switch off from work
Most of us have been guilty of replying to an email or two outside of office hours. The ability to be connected 24/7 does make it somewhat tempting to complete ‘just one more task’ as it comes in but switching off from work, as well as switching off the guilt many parents feel surrounding not working, and spending distraction-free quality time with family is not only beneficial for children but for parents as well.
Make family plans in advance
It is a good idea to plan ahead when it comes to plans with the kids. Let your employer know in advance that you will be taking time off or going away during the summer holidays. It is far simpler and much less stressful to have your major plans scheduled so you won’t be scrambling a day or two before.
Take care of yourself
Many parents attempting to juggle work and family life forget to take care of one integral aspect: themselves. Ensuring you find your own balance by getting enough sleep, scheduling your tasks, both inside and outside of the office, in order of importance and allowing yourself some downtime are all essential components of achieving a healthy work-life balance.
Parents, check out our tips for how to achieve balance and manage your stress here.