Every day more parents are finding the need to create the right balance between a full-time work schedule and making time for their families.
One of the first things to remember is quality time is much more important the quantity of time. Take a lot of pictures and talk about memories often. This will make the most of the time that you do have with your family.
Find childcare that you trust. In a perfect world, you will have this figured out before you have to go back to work, or even before you decide to have children. Sometimes this is not an option, or you find that your circumstances have changed and you need to find someone quickly. Take the time to check a childcare provider’s references. Schedule time with them to see how they interact with your child/children. Pay for the background check. A reliable provider will give you peace of mind, and it will prevent you from having to start the whole process over again if they don’t work out.
Plan your mornings the night before. Pack lunches, set out clothes, and make sure everything is where you need to find it. It is always easier to take a few minutes each evening before you go to bed, than to try and make up the time in the morning when you have places to be.
Don’t let yourself start feeling guilty. Sometimes you will not be able to get the house completely clean. Sometimes you will feed your family fast food instead of a nutritious home-cooked meal. Dwelling on these situations will not make you more productive. It will only create negative feelings that will be one more thing to overcome in your already busy and potentially stressful life.
Practice organization. Keep calendars of appointments, extracurricular activities, and deadlines. If you have a smartphone, there are usually apps that can help you keep track of dates and times. Also, develop habits that will save you time later. Make sure you keep your keys, phone, chargers, even shoes in the same place so you don’t have to waste valuable time searching from them when you are in a hurry.
Plan special family time every week. Schedule outings, game nights, or movie nights. Set aside laptops or tablets, turn off your phone, and make sure that you are giving your family your focus to do something enjoyable.
Take care of yourself. Schedule time for this if necessary. Take an exercise class or find a hobby. You are teaching your children that interests and enrichments are important by setting a good example. Make sure you get enough sleep. You will be a better parent and employee if you are well-rested.