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Managing your wellbeing as a working parent

“Nobody on earth can ever love you more than your parents” One of the greatest titles one can have in this world is “Parent”. Being a father or mother is the happiest experience that one can have in the world. Parenting is all about love, respect, support, encouragement, discipline, sacrifice, adjustments, and rewards. 

Every word, movement, action and behaviour of parents affect children. As a parent, we need to meet the responsibilities and expectations of multiple roles such as work, study, sport, and family. It is necessary to develop a work-life balance and plan the time accordingly. Parenting is a life role, and we need to look after our wellbeing to play the part well.

As a working parent, our day to day life is becoming very, very difficult to meet even the basic needs. It’s just not your child or family that you have to look after; an essential part of being a parent is looking after yourself too. Parenting and working take a lot of physical and emotional energy. 

Here are some easy ways you need to cope with your wellbeing as a working parent.

Scheduling works plays a key role.

If you run a business and want to balance it with your personal life, it’s essential to have a schedule; so that you don’t waste your time and energy.

Plan your calendar and set daily expectations. Get used to creating daily routines and schedules so you can predict your days. With this improved planning, you can avoid the buzz in your work life. More importantly, scheduling allows you to know yourself and others when you have work with your kids, family and other colleagues.

Creating a plan for your kids keeps you organized and productive and helps create a disciplined structure that makes your children respond well. Examples of this are fixing up bedtimes and other activities that they can do when you are doing work.

Creating a schedule that works for you is very important. Do not be afraid to try different schedules until you find a good match. After you have decided on a schedule and finished the calendar for some time, be sure to share it with your colleagues and relatives.

Know what to sacrifice 

If you want to balance your profession and your family, you need to make some sacrifices. Well, it’s the only way for most people to manage time.

However, one should know what to sacrifice. For example, some people love travelling and their work involves travelling. It’s a great way,  but too much travelling prevents the quality time they spend with family. So they need to reduce and sacrifice some events from time to time to spend time with family at home. Eliminate events that are not worthwhile investments, financially and time-wise.

Spend some quality time with your family after your office; have dinner together. Plan weekends not to work so that you can spend time with your family.

Delegate your responsibilities

When you are drowning in heavy office work, household activities, and other family responsibilities, then it’s time to delegate your works. At home, if you are a parent of a toddler, ask your household members to take care of the child for some time. Assign simple household tasks like setting up the table, arranging dishes, or feeding pets to your young children. 

You can even delegate more advanced tasks to older children, such as cleaning the house and throwing the trash out. For some parents, managing children and getting them to help comes naturally. However, a working parent should allow their children to do simple tasks and learn to do certain jobs independently. 

Delegating household tasks not only reduces your workload but also teaches your children discipline and responsibility.

Try perfection in the first attempt itself.

“We spend more time doing something and then redoing it again because you didn’t do it well the first time,” The solution for this “touch it once” rule.

Whenever you do something, whether it might be office work or household work, do it with maximum perfection. For this, you need to prioritize and focus. Do not multitask but concentrate on completing each task completely before moving on to the next. If you try to do many things at once, you may need to redo it, and probably you may waste so much time doing it again and again that the entire day is disturbed. Eventually, you lack time doing other work and clutter your mind or workspace.

Find time for rest

Use the 4 D rule to help you prioritize your time

Do  what is important and urgent

Delegate – what is urgent but less important

Delay – what is important and not urgent

Drop – what is not important and not urgent

Do important and necessary work on your schedule. 

Next, complete easy tasks that take less time. Finishing small tasks helps you build momentum for longer tasks

Delegate less important assignments & functions to someone else if they are urgent.

Temporarily delay the task, which can be done later. 

Check your list of functions and drop (people and tasks) who waste your time to eliminate distractions. 

Maintain exercise and sleep routine. Sleep for a minimum of six to seven hours a day. A power nap in the afternoon, if possible, is very healthy. Practice meditation; it gives you immense relief.

Prioritize relationships and spend time wisely with people who are important and support you in life.

Use technology

Nowadays, almost everything groceries, medicine, dresses, and even ready to eat meals are also available online and delivered to your doorstep. Instead of rushing to the market for groceries every day or a few days a week, explore online grocery choices nearby, which can save one or two hours each time. 

Some items may not be available, or you may feel costly online can be bought in the supermarket by scheduling one or two trips a month. Overall, you can save many hours that you can use wisely spent on other vital things that might improve your wellbeing.  

If you can afford it, hiring a professional is even a better choice to do household work like cleaning and washing to save your precious time and energy. Some might think it as a waste of money because they can handle work independently, but there is no point saying NO when you can afford it. 

Dr Prithika Chary, NeuroSurgeon & Neuro Physician, Health & Life Coach, suggests many ways to help working parents look after their wellbeing. A parent prioritizes family first, career second and then remaining work, and usually put themselves way down on the list. 

The guilt of working parents is real. 

When office work is done, they return home and immediately switch gears and try to become the perfect parent. Take a short break before changing roles and do not push yourself into burnout. 

When parents practise self-care and establish methods to integrate their work and home life everyone benefits – you, the family and the organization you work for as the parent is happy, fulfilled and healthy in body, mind and spirit

When the office work is done for the day, they immediately switch gears and turn themselves into the parent job. As working parents, you need to remember that a heavy workload leads to burnout. As working parents, you also need to prioritize well being because if you fall sick, your family members are the first to suffer. As working parents, when you are healthy physically and mentally, your family and the organization you work for also reap the benefits.

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