Challenges of a Working Parent and How to Tackle Them

Challenges of a Working Parent and How to Tackle Them

As a working parent, you have to diligently complete your tasks at work and go home to take care of your kids: effectively balancing the two roles may be difficult because of the challenges of a working parent, and it would be great for you if you could tackle them.

A challenge you likely face is that you have very little time to take care of yourself amidst being a dutiful worker and a caring parent, but you can tackle this issue by compulsorily creating some time for yourself daily to prevent burnout and frustration.

You may also have to endure unfair judgment from co-employees who would find it unfair that you leave work immediately it's the end of work, but you can address it by working effectively in the hours you spend at work or even pull some overtime when you get the chance.

On many days, you may even feel like a failure because you put one above the other and made an error in the neglected one, but you should simply understand that being a working parent is strenuous, and it's understandable to make errors sometimes when juggling such heavy duties.

If you empathize with these challenges of a working parent, be sure to learn how to confront them:

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Little Time for Yourself 

Getting almost no time to spend on personal fun is perceived as one of the everyday challenges of a working parent because there is a non-existent window of free time between leaving work and getting home to care for your kids.

However, you should not fall into the trap of believing this fact wholeheartedly; you can try to change it by consciously creating time for yourself in which you can pursue a hobby at home, such as yoga, meditation, gardening, crafting, or learning to play the piano.

You can also create time for yourself after your kid's sleep, allowing you to focus solely only yourself and not have to worry about them since they are asleep; after tucking them into bed, you can go on to do read novels, taste wine, cook a delicious meal, or watch movies.

If you seek personal time to have fun, you may incorporate the fun into your children's playtime, enabling you to play with them and satisfy your fun cravings; board games, video games, and charades are games that you can all enjoy.

Unfair Judgment at Work 

Co-workers at a workplace often contribute to the challenges of a working parent when they unfairly judge them for trying to get a proper work-life balance so they may take care of their kids after work.

As a working parent, your colleagues may have judged you in the past for coming late to work on certain occasions, not understanding that some unexpected circumstances came up; for you to prevent such unfair judgment, try to plan your movements two hours ahead so you can have ample time to navigate through the day.

Similarly, some co-workers may be unable to comprehend why you always leave work at 5:00 pm, not realizing that you have to go home to begin your 'other job' with your kids; you have to explain to them in clear terms that since work has ended, you have every right to go home to your kids.

Furthermore, you may be blamed at work for your inability to pick up spontaneous duties that may require you to travel soon; understandably, you can't leave your family on such short notice; thus, you should inform your employer you can't and request for a more extended notice period.

Beating Yourself Up

Managing two crucial roles, parent and worker, and beating yourself up about wrong actions or inactions you make in either role is one of the challenges of a working parent that can even cause you more stress due to the self-imposed negativity.
To stop beating yourself about it, be compassionate to your being and accept the errors as regular occurrences when a person is handling two tasking roles and putting 100% in both.
Also, pay attention to yourself whenever you want to start beating yourself up and consider how your body reacts so you may modify your responses to help you calm down; for example, if your jaw clenches when you start getting annoyed at your mistake, consciously unclenching it can help you calm down.
You can equally try to interrupt your emotional pattern whenever you make an error, as the ability to change negativity to positivity on the fly can help you prevent the looming self-blame.

Child Care

During your work hours, it’s inevitable that you will need child care for your children, and this is one of the challenges of a working parent because your children may not be able to care for themselves while you are at work, leaving you worried.

An excellent option to address this challenge is to sign your kids up for daycare, where they get to socialize with other kids and grow in diverse ways, allowing you to have a peaceful mind while at work.

Moreover, you may hire a recommended, reliable nanny or babysitter who can help you watch your kids during your work hours and give you reports when you get back home.

You can also look to non-profit child care centers that are set up like daycare centers but without asking for money; they even sometimes offer financial help to struggling parents.

Poor Work-Life Balance 

An unbalanced work-life is one of the challenges of a working parent, as it can be pretty difficult to stop working after work because of the possible high volume of work or the inability to detach from work adequately.

To tackle this challenge, you have to consciously detach from work by attributing a specific time frame for work and immediately stopping every work-related duty once that period expires.

Another way you can address a poor work-life balance is to say more “no” at work, ensuring that you don’t accept time-consuming tasks out of a false sense of guilt or obligation.

You can equally manage your time better at work, ensuring you perform your duties at work while going home with a clear, happy mind to spend quality time with your kids.

Conclusion

Identifying these challenges of a working parent: little personal time, unfair judgment at work, beating yourself up, child care, and poor work-life balance can help you understand ways to tackle them and live a healthier mental life.

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May 17th, 2022

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