The number of parents working from home has increased since the start of the pandemic, but today’s working parents face many issues parents in previous generations never encountered. Studies show these parents are more concerned than ever with these new responsibilities — from the cost of childcare, to their children’s academic and social development, to increasing economic and housing costs, to increasing threats of violence.
Today, we’re diving into tips to help working parents manage their stress, schedule, and other work habits. By learning to manage your emotions and time now, you are setting a positive example for your kids that may serve them long into college and beyond.
Working Parents: The Current State
The fact of the matter is parents are burnt out. They’re navigating ever-changing work environments, a turbulent political and economic world, and concerns for the development of their kids raised during the pandemic.
On top of this, many parents are dealing with rising costs of childcare. Since the pandemic, childcare has increased by approximately 41% and many parents continue to work jobs with paychecks that do not match these growing costs, putting an immense strain on many households.
To offset these costs, many parents working hybrid and remotely have chosen to take care of their kids from home while they work. While this decision-making has spelled savings in the cost of daycare or nannies for some parents, it has also forced many moms and dads to essentially work two jobs at once. For most parents, balancing these roles is challenging.
On the plus side, because more parents are working from home (or WFH), they also have an opportunity to be more hands-on with their kids and to set a good example of balancing career-home life.
What Kids Can Learn and Gain From Having a Parent who Works
Although many parents may find it challenging to strike a balance between work and family responsibilities, caretaking gives you a say in what (and how) your children learn.
Kids are meticulous copycats. If they see their parents engaging in certain behaviors, they learn to imitate the behaviors. This imitation means that if you model healthy communication, kindness, respect, empathy, and responsibility at home, your children may imitate those values in your home and in the real world.
As a working parent, you can also model the value of hard work and a good work ethic to your kids. Displaying this work ethic for them now will help set them up for professional success in the future.
4 Tips to Help You Find Balance as a Working Parent
When you can demonstrate healthy work and home life boundaries as a parent, your kids will ultimately benefit from this example. Here are four ways to help you do just that.
1. Managing Your Stress
Whether or not you voice your stress aloud, your kids will likely recognize when you’re stressed out. How you manage your stress levels, however, will set the stage for how they deal with stress in their own lives. Practice healthy stress management techniques during your workday, such as taking a walk, exercising, or enforcing work-life boundaries to teach your kids to manage their own stress in productive ways.
2. Prioritizing What’s Important
Your kids witness how you prioritize your responsibilities at work and home. If you spend most of your time on work, and give work precedence over your personal responsibilities, your kids will be more likely to sacrifice their own personal time for work in the future. Likewise, if they see you constantly doing things at the last minute instead of being proactive at work, they may learn to procrastinate in their own lives. We all need to fine-tune our time management skills, so demonstrate to your kids an ongoing commitment to that process by prioritizing what’s important in your life.
3. Setting Healthy Boundaries
Keep work at work and home at home, even if you’re in a WFH environment. Demonstrate that you like to show up and give 100%, but that you never allow anyone from work to take away from your time at home. You’ll be illustrating to your kids the importance of working to live — not living to work.
4. Make Time for Self-Care
Caring for yourself is a great way to demonstrate a healthy lifestyle to your kids. Your kids will learn to take care of themselves when they see you getting adequate sleep, exercising often, eating healthy foods, and carving out time for yourself. You can do all these tasks while maintaining a thriving career and home life.
The Bottom Line
Working full-time and parenting impressionable kids is a tough balancing act, but with every challenge you have the opportunity to teach your children valuable lessons that will serve them in the future.
Today’s parents are facing challenges no generation before them ever had to face, so set an example of emotional management for your kids by cutting yourself some slack and showing yourself patience.
If you need additional support, our Arootah Life Coaches are here to help you balance work and home life through individualized coaching.
How do you set a good example for your kids while working? Share in the comments your inspiring tips!