There has been a sharp rise in modern times in the percentage of children being brought up by two working parents. In nearly half of all two-parent families, both parents work full time. The trend has been gradually growing over the past decade. It was pointed out by The White House Council of Economic Advisors who provided data showing that sixty percent of children now live in households where all the parents at home work at least part-time, up from 40 percent in 1965. While this could be seen as a positive change, the task for working parents to manage a household with young children has become exponentially harder. It becomes tricky for parents to address the aspirations of excelling at their corporate career and simultaneously provide a healthy environment for their family to grow.
It’s a bittersweet grind, the full-time working parent juggling act. To survive triumphantly, guilt-ridden parents are forced to have to let go off one big thing: perfection. Even the best jugglers drop the ball once in a while. When you do and, trust me, you might – like when you cannot show up for your son’s football game because a corporate meeting went on too long, one must go easy on themselves. Modern society and economy have developed to an extent where parents have to muster all their resources to effectively balance both responsibilities. While it may seem impossible to do so, a few efficient and straightforward hacks can be used to master the juggling act –
Keep a Family Calendar
There are multiple digital mobile calendar applications, the most popular being Google Calendar and Cozi, not to forget traditional wall calendars as well! Keeping one generalised schedule where all family members can note important future happenings will help everyone be aware of each other’s life events. A simple schedule allows working parents to plan activities well in advance and accordingly streamline their efforts
Plan your Meals
A major concern for working parents is their families well-being and health. They often feel stressed about meal procurement and preparation. These concerns can be mitigated by maintaining a periodic (ideally, weekly) meal plan. It ensures hassle-free and last minute grocery store visits, reducing the mental burden caused by the same. Small steps like this are essential in maintaining a healthy family and providing them with nutritious meals.
Hire help either at home or through external services
Leaving young children at home is a worrisome task for most parents. Services provided by individuals like babysitters or even reaching out to friends/family to watch your kids while busy, is an effective measure to put yourself at ease. External facilities like a creche or day-care are now tying up with corporate organisations to offer programmes for employees to have their children watched and taken care of at a specialised professional facility within the vicinity of their office. This provides a sense of safety and allows parents to work stress-free.
Internet/ Digital Facilities
Technological advancements in the digital world have helped adults deal with numerous responsibilities through unique user-friendly platforms. Activities ranging from paying bills to ordering groceries or even scheduling medical appointments can be done online. Simplifying these tasks, which were once considered tedious have helped adults free up their time away from work and interact with their family more.
Plan and execute small tasks in advance
Tasks like organising your kid’s school uniform and lunch box may seem pretty simple at face value, but are generally not planned for in advance. Manageable measures like preparing for the above mentioned the night before on weekdays, help reduce mental stress in adults for the next morning, which are anyhow bound to be chaotic and disorganised.
All said and done, one should not take either responsibility casually. While maintaining an equilibrium between the two may seem close to impossible, there are small and effective measures which can be taken to nullify the stress caused by trying to juggle both. Smart planning along with the effective use of the digital world and childcare services could help a long way in striking the perfect balance between the two biggest tasks faced by an adult.