In the ideal world, working parents are able to juggle seamlessly between family and work. Every working parent sure wants to be able to perfectly balance their time between family and work, but sometimes, one can become more demanding than the other.
Some would argue that you should always choose family overwork. True enough, the family should be the number one priority. After all, you work probably because you need and want to provide for the family. However, when you always put work second, it might be detrimental to your career, too.
Being working parents come with challenges, but as with anything, these challenges can be dealt with without having to fully compromise an equally important aspect of your life.
Let’s take a look at the five most common problems that working parents face and how you can deal with them effectively.
1. When any of the kids get sick
Did your child wake up with a fever or the school called to ask you to pick up your kid early due to a health emergency? Either of these two scenarios may require you to decide to take the day off from work. While some employers may be more lenient and make filing emergency leaves easy, with some even allowing you to work from home, there are those who won’t. This is especially true when deadlines are looming.
So, how do you deal with this? Be proactive. Your boss may not be thrilled about you not reporting to work today because of tight deadlines, but it will help him bend if you provide him or her a solution. Think of a way for you to still get things done and make sure you do good on your commitment.
2. When a family emergency strikes right before an important event or presentation
An emergency is called as such because you don’t know when it will happen. Often, it does happen at the least favorable time. If there’s a family emergency but there is something that you really need to do or attend to at work, pause and look at your options.
Do you really need to leave immediately? Can someone else in the family check out or attend to the situation before you can join later? Can you possibly join your scheduled meeting via a video conference? Can you re-schedule your presentation ahead of time so you can be on your way earlier?
Whatever you do, inform your manager about the situation. Definitely, they may help you find a workaround.
3. When the guilt of not being available full-time for the family creeps in
Being a parent while pursuing your career goals can be exhausting. Sometimes, you may also feel like you are doing better in one while failing in the other.
If the feeling of guilt that you’re not always there for the family starts to creep in, just think about this: the quality of time you spend with and for the family is better than quantity. Whenever you have the moment to be with your family, make sure they own your time and that you make the most of it.
4. When an important school activity coincides with an important event at work
It is important for children that their parents are present in important school activities. As a working parent, knowing this will eventually make you feel kind of sad and a little guilty. Of course, you want to be there for your kids. However, dwelling on your guilt won’t help.
Again, weigh your options. Can you possibly leave the event early or take a quick break from it to drop by your child’s school? Can another family member take a live video of the school event and let the child know that you are watching, albeit through video chat?
The key here is communication. Talk to your child ahead of time if you can’t make it to the school activity. Do not promise that you’d be there then end up not going.
5. When “me time” and “couple time” become a thing of the past
Working parents’ attention is often divided between career and parenting, but what about yourself and your better half?
You might be so preoccupied with balancing work and family that you neglect your own health and the well-being of your partner or spouse. As much as possible squeeze in some “me time” and “couple time” during your rest days from work. One option would be to have the kids stay at your parents’ place while you and your partner go on a date.