Becoming a parent can be a stressful time – especially when you try to balance your family life with your full time job. While priorities change once you start a family, it’s good to be able to keep a full time job to be able to afford to pay for all those things your child will need. Another benefit of staying in full time work is the opportunity to interact with other adults.
Getting back to work: If you have taken time out to be with your child during the early years of their life and feel ready to move back into full time work then finding a new job can feel like a daunting task. Ensuring that you are mobile also means you are more flexible in the area you wish to work. If you don’t hold a driving licence then it’s never too late to learn. You can now even practice for your theory test online whilst your child is enjoying their afternoon nap – so don’t be daunted by this, a car could be your passport to juggling work and parenting.
Childcare options: Going back to work if you are returning from maternity leave and being away from your child can be tough. All three and four-year-olds in the UK are entitled to 15 hours free education for 38 weeks a year. Some two-year-olds are also now eligible, but this does depend on your income status. Check with your local council to find out what help is available in your area or read more at gov.uk. Options to look at when it comes to childcare include day nurseries, nursery schools, a childminder or nanny.
Work life balance: It’s a difficult task to maintain a work life balance but ensuring that you don’t miss out on your children growing up is even harder. We often consider having a good work life balance is being successful at work, whilst having quality time with our children. Sticking to a clear schedule and planning your week is going to save wasting time and should give you a good perspective of how much time you are spending at work and at home. That may mean a calendar and some creative scheduling, get your pencil out and get planning.
Look after your health: If you are unwell and unable to function at your full capacity you will find it tricky to work or look after your family. Keeping your stress levels down at both home and at work is important so make sure you dedicate some time to this each week. You could try simple things like going to bed an hour earlier or carrying a drinks bottle to keep you hydrated. If you enjoy exercise bear in mind some fitness centres do provide a crèche if you have younger children so you can take time to work out. Check out nhs.uk/LiveWell for more tips on keeping healthy.
Working from home – Nowadays we can access anyone across the whole world with the touch of a button or a phone call and it doesn’t matter where you are based. Developments in technology such as email, Skype and video conferencing make it easy to work whenever you can. Working from home can alleviate the pressures of childcare, reduce stress and increase your motivation, making you more effective in both your role and your home life.