Working full-time with a kid at home is a hard task, especially if you have to go through it alone. Being a single parent has a whole new world of challenges that are quite stressful and hard on the body and mind. But, nothing can conquer the love you have for your child and the passion you have for your career! In case you’re a caring parent and a dedicated employee, you can focus on finding a good balance in your life and jump over every family and work crisis. Sure, you will always have some unexpected surprises and dark days, but with these tips, you can manage to keep everything under control. Take a look!
Seek family-friendly companies
If you’re in the process of finding a full-time job, make sure to do your homework and pick the right company for your family. Today, many companies are very generous and caring when it comes to accommodating employees with kids, but not all workplaces have the same attitude. If you look online, you can certainly find a list of family-friendly companies, but you can also ask questions during your interview. Another great way to get first-hand info is to check LinkedIn, dig through your connections and ask other working parents for their impression of the company’s policies towards workers with kids.
Be open with your superiors
If you already have a successful career and you just became a single parent, don’t hesitate to be open with your bosses and managers. Even if you’re a highly professional and private person, sharing your hardships will evoke sympathy and help your superiors understand your situation. This might allow you to turn down some demanding projects and give you an opportunity to work from home every now and then without any consequences.
Sharing your feelings with others might even open up some possibilities you didn’t even think were available, such as childcare perks, a more flexible schedule, and fewer business trips. In case your company doesn’t have any understanding, you might even consider finding a new job or a brand new career more suitable for single parents.
Be smart with your schedule
Juggling all your tasks as a single parent can be very demanding and a constant reminder that you can’t be in two places at the same time. You probably have parts of the day when you need to concentrate on work and parts of the day when you need to be focused on your child, but often these hours overlap. If you’re thorough when it comes to creating a fool-proof schedule, you can handle everything. Sometimes, even switching to part-time can be a good answer for a few critical months.
Also, you can create a good schedule for your kid. Luckily, children thrive when supplied with a good routine, so they love this part of single parenting. For instance, you can schedule dinner times when you eat together and talk about your day. Or, you can come up with a fun yet relaxing bedtime routine that will allow you to bond, cuddle and hit the hay happy and content. The best way to have everything in one place is to put up a whiteboard in your kitchen so both you and your kids can check it whenever you need it.
Accept all the help you can get
You’re a single parent, not a superhuman, so don’t feel disappointed if you can’t handle everything by yourself. If you have a team at work, do your best to divide your tasks and work as a group. Also, your interns and assistants can do reports, first drafts and handle office correspondence with your review at the end.
Additionally, if your kids are too young for school or nursery, you can enroll them in a playgroup. Today, you can find wonderful playgroup suitable for babies as young as 6 months. This program will not only keep your kid safe and entertained while you work but also focus on developing every skill your child needs and ensure that they reach their fullest potential. A good playgroup will allow you to concentrate on work instead of fretting over your kid’s well-being and you’ll get to be a more valuable, faster and productive worker.
Remember that old saying “It takes a village to raise a child”? Well, allow your family and friends to help you when you’re struggling. Put them on the pick-up list in your kid’s school, daycare or playgroup and list them as emergency contacts. If they want to help, make sure to accept the assistance with both hands!
Prepare in advance
If you wake up every morning to complete chaos, you can expect your day to continue in the same direction. So, make sure to avoid some of that stress by preparing the night before. Pack lunch, iron clothing and whip up an easy breakfast. You can also buy clothes that require no ironing and even ask your kids to help with preparations if they are old enough to handle some chores. Even little ones can help with picking out their outfit and fetching ingredients for breakfast and lunch.
Organize your calendars
Having merged calendars will ensure you never miscalculate and miss your kid’s recital or that important briefing at work. Having everything in one place will prevent any scheduling conflicts in the future.
Be a good worker
Even if your company is very supportive and understanding of your position, you still need to be a good employee—you can’t afford to lose your job right now. Unless there’s a crisis with your kid, try your best to concentrate on your job.
Mix your professional and family life
This might sound contradictory to many parents, but if you plan well, you can mix professional and family life and get the best of both worlds. For instance, you can sometimes leave work early and answer emails while your kid plays or does homework or catch up with reports while snuggled on the sofa.
Being a single parent is challenging, not going to lie, but it’s also very rewarding. When you get the hang of the situation and come up with good schedules and healthy routines, you’ll get to provide your kid with a happy childhood—this is the biggest reward for a single parent!