Guilt-free career with the family - tips on how to survive

With an increasing number of parents working full time it has become the new social norm. Only one in ten women now stays at home to look after the children. 

Every parent suffers from the guilt of working. This is not unique to you. Remember that those working parents who have nurtured children successfully into adulthood have rarely regretted it and often feel that the experience was good in the long run.

Reasons for working vary but usually the overriding factor is income, but finding the right way to balance career and family can be easier said than done. It’s considered a luxury if one parent can afford to stay at home to be a full time parent. Even if you’re full time working, the description of part time parenting doesn’t really apply which means juggling both roles is generally what’s called for. 

With so many demands on their time how do families manage? Here are some tips on reducing your guilt and surviving the long term: 

Goal setting

Set specific goals for what you want to accomplish, with both your family and your work life. Setting priorities makes it easier to accomplish the things that are most important to you. This also allows you to schedule time. Write them down and share this with the family.

Work-home balance

If family is the most important thing, then be purposeful in not working too many hours or if you have to stick to the plan so that your family know in advance of what you are doing. If career goals are your primary focus try to get help to relieve some of the stress. Family, friends and neighbours can be of great help in swap arrangements. Try to balance your work and family life to suit you and your family's needs. Don’t over commit on your work arrangements if this is going to upset the balance. 

Organisation

You have to be a good organiser to survive. There is nothing worse than coming home after a long day at work, picking up cranky kids, and not knowing what is for dinner, remembering an appointment, or finding papers from school days late. Develop a system at home just like you have for work to keep you on track. Have a large family calendar that is visible to everyone, and make sure to train your family to mark important dates. Streamline your schedule to keep errands minimal and family time as routine as possible.

Set boundaries

Know what your limits are, and stick to your boundaries. If work becomes too much, draw a line and make sure that your family time isn’t impacted in a negative way. Don’t let outside commitments or obligations rule your time. Stay in control – it’s a great stress reliever.

Learn to say no

Determine how much time you need to keep your household running smoothly, and don’t be afraid to say no when someone asks for volunteers. You really need to limit outside activities so they are a pleasure and not a list of 'have to's'.

Quality time

Spend quality time with the children. Turn off the television, pc and mobiles so there are no distractions. Read stories together, play games, help with homework or just talk; you and the children will enjoy the time you spend together and it will reduce the feelings of guilt you have as a working parent.

Make use of technology

No more dragging unwilling children round the supermarket on a Saturday morning, free up precious time by shopping online and having it delivered! Use Skype once in a while to keep in touch with family and friends rather than making actual visits.

'Me' time

Taking care of yourself is important as a working parent. Don’t be afraid to indulge every once in a while. Get a massage or play a round of golf, take a break, or go out with friends. Having a personal life and staying mentally happy helps you be not only a better parent, but a happier employee.

If you are looking for a new career, visit Morgan Hunt for a list of jobs that range from part time to highly qualified positions. This might be the first step in balancing that delicate schedule of work and parenthood - finding the job that fits your lifestyle. Making a change can improve your income, keep your career current and satisfy that urge to have a career.

Morgan Hunt are a LSN networkpartner, find out more about what they do by visiting their networkpartner page.

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