5 Tips for Parents to Improve Work-Life Balance

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Matthew Thurman

You’ve mastered your new job. You’ve figured out the new email system, you’ve received your first paycheck and got the direct deposit set up, you’ve even, finally, picked a health insurance your whole family likes. But what about life at home, after the new job has set in?

If you haven’t mastered your work-life balance while having kids, don’t worry. We gathered the best tips for balancing parenting and working well. Here’s how to make the best of both responsibilities, regardless of your job!

1. Ask for Help

You might be surprised at how the community around you could be willing to help out with extra tasks, school drop offs and pick ups, or navigating a new schedule.  Ask a trusted neighbor, a family friend, your mom/dad, or (even better, if you have one) your partner for a little help. Let them know you are drowning and give them some realistic ways they can take something off your plate.

2. Take care of yourself!

You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. (Tweet this)  Wake up a few minutes early to take some “me time.”  Take a shower, read a book, have a nice hot cup of coffee and relax, do something that makes you happy every single day. There are great apps that can help with this too, like classpass or headspace.

3. Plan Ahead

             Prepare for tomorrow, today.  Simply put, lay out your clothes and keys in plain sight (as we lose these a lot when we are in a hurry).  You might even want to make a checklist and tape it to the door so you see it as you are leaving. Try pre-cooking your food and freezing it as another way to get ahead. It will save you the headache of trying to cook and clean as soon as you walk in the door.  

4. Stay Organized

                 The easiest way to do this is to make a calendar and post it right next to the family picture on the fridge!  This can be a really fun project to do as a family. Sit everyone down with colored pencils, crayons,  or markers, so everyone can contribute. There are great apps to stay organized, too. Check out todoist for managing your to-do list. Pepperplate is great for getting meal plans and recipes organized. SnipSnap helps you save and remember coupons.

5. Maximize your Weekend

Your days are precious. Make sure to schedule doctor's appointments, errands, and oil changes far in advance, so you can get them done on Saturdays without taking extra time off of work. Schedule drinks with friends or dinner dates as well so you have scheduled time for fun, but don’t get overwhelmed by responsibilities during the week.

Curious as to other ways parents are improving their work-life balance? Check out Amy's story.

 
 
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Matthew Thurman is a student at Volunteer State Community College, and was Relode's Marketing Intern in Fall 2016. He can be reached here.