There are more parents in the workforce than ever today and working parents know that balancing family responsibilities and their career can be difficult.
During back-to-school time, this challenge comes sharply into focus. Parents must handle back-to-school shopping, changing schedules, less daylight and all the stress (and guilt) that comes with those obligations.
The good news is many parents handle this challenge with great success, and the most successful parents have found that a bit a planning, organization and the right mindset can go a long way. Consider the following tips on how to manage your family’s back-to-school transition.
Drop the guilt
Parents have to find ways to be successful in both their personal life and professional life all year round. The best way to achieve that is coming to terms with the choices they have made and focusing on what needs to be done next.
As opposed to worrying about how you’re not adequately supporting your child, consider how your job is benefitting the family. Think about how your job gives you the means to provide healthy meals and expose your child to growth opportunities outside school, such as paying for athletics or trips abroad.
Parents struggling with guilt should discuss their feelings with loved ones or support groups. Parenting websites, like Working Moms Against Guilt, are a good way to get in touch with others attempting to grapple with working parent guilt.
Make a calendar
Calendars are very effective tools for organizing everyone’s time. They just take a bit of work to set up and some diligence to keep them current. A number of smartphone apps make organizing by calendar even easier and more accessible, especially those like Google Calendar that host a sharable calendar in the cloud.
Communicate any issues with your employer
Back-to-school time means the start of after-school activities, and sometimes you may have to take days off or get out of work early to meet your child’s obligations. A good strategy is to draw up a list of things you need from your employer and have a meeting with your boss about the best ways to meet all your obligations.
Organize the night before
Steer clear of starting the day with chaos by getting prepared each night before school. Pack lunches, pick outfits and have everybody take a bath or shower. Also, decide what to make for breakfast and pack diaper bags, backpacks, purses or work bags for the next day. Then, place all non-perishable items near the door, next to your keys, so you can grab them and walk out.
Finally, review any calendars, to-do lists and the grocery situation to determine what activities, obligations and meals are on deck. This is also an ideal time to talk about any changes to the family schedule.
We’re here to help!
At Cornerstone, we’re always available to help working parents properly balance the demands of work and personal life, please contact us today.