Being a working parent is never an easy task. Mornings are rushed, meals are hurried and weekends are too short. Sometimes it feels like finding balance is near impossible.
Finding the right child care centre can be the key to striking a work-life balance that works for your family. With the right support systems and boundaries in place, you can minimize the stress of the daily hustle and bustle and make the most of family time.
It’s worth the effort – successful work-life balance has been shown to have numerous benefits on the entire family, including improving family health, improved social relationships and healthier child growth and development.
Here are five ways that working parents can work to improve their work-life balance:
1. Rely on support networks – Asking for help is the first step in striking a balance. Sometimes reaching out to ask a family member, friend or neighbour to help out in daycare drop-off or pick-up can make a big difference in the smooth-running of the day. Asking for help with your daily routine could make the difference in giving you a few extra minutes of precious family time at the end of the day.
2. Trust in your daycare provider – Do your research and visit multiple daycare facilities. Find a centre that offers more than fantastic programming promises, but can also offer peace of mind. Check their references and do a google search to find out what other families are saying about them. Finding a trustworthy daycare provider can offer you peace of mind throughout the day, resulting in a much happier evening together as a family.
3. Make the most of family time – Family time doesn’t always have to be busy time. Make the most of time together as a family by planning fun activities and setting aside chores until after quality time has been spent. A few hours of uninterrupted time together, free of devices and distractions can make a big difference to children who spend the majority of their waking hours outside of the home. Spending time outside together is a fantastic way to reconnect and share in the enjoyment of the world around us.
4. Take time out for YOU – Don’t forget that “you can’t pour from an empty cup”! Even parents need some TLC sometimes, and it’s just as important to your children that YOU are happy, content, and fulfilled. This could mean spending a few minutes alone in the car before picking up your child so you can release the stress of the day, or maybe taking your shower before your child wakes in the morning so you can enjoy a few uninterrupted moments. However you fit it in, it is important to make time each day to take care of your own emotional needs.
5. Set boundaries – As a family, setting boundaries is a part of almost everything we do. Each person needs to understand their limits and establish boundaries for themselves and their family members. Between parents, understanding each other’s boundaries is a great way to find positive ways to support each other and work together for the benefit of the whole family. Setting boundaries can also include letting your office know that you are unavailable when you are not in the office. Reinforce this with your children by reminding them that they are your priority when you are together. If you need to take work home, establish a “work zone” and “family zones” in the house to help prevent work from creeping into your home life too much.
Despite best efforts, work-life balance will always be a work-in-progress. Your daycare providers are there to support you and your family and can be a great resource when you are running out of ideas. The most important thing is to keep finding small ways to make changes in your routine to make it work for you.
Alpha’s Preschool Academy and Child Care Centre is dedicated to providing children 12 months to 5 years with a quality program that helps to enrich each child’s early education through emotional well-being and cognitive stimulation. Our planned activities and stimulating interactions with peers and teachers promote raising happy, healthy, well-adjusted children.
To learn more about Alpha’s Preschool Academy, or to book a tour, please call 905-812-8880.