Published Dec. 12, 2020, 9:56 p.m. by oasisparents
It has never been easy for working parents to balance their family and professional lives. It's like juggling with several balls at the same time. Caring for our children brings us incredible joy, but the responsibilities of parenting can become overwhelming.
Parents who work full time know how difficult it is to get ready in the morning, to prepare children for school and drop them off before going to work; then make sure to pick them up on time, before going home, preparing dinner, helping with homework, creating some play time and finishing with cleaning.
Most of the parents I talked to report feeling like they are always racing against the clock. Many times they face so many responsibilities that they force it too much and crash with exhaustion. They do their best to give everything to everyone at the same time: work, children, partner, friends, family. They always forget the most important part: themselves!
A Quebec study on work-family life balance shows that more than 80% of parents with children aged 0 to 5 are actually overwhelmed by the accumulation of their responsibilities; the most common elements reported by parents were impression of running everywhere, no time to take care of themselves, and the physical and mental exhaustion experienced at dinner time.
When you leave work early or quickly, or when you are absent for family reasons, some of your colleagues may think you are lazy, or that it is unfair that you spend less time in the office because you have children. Some bosses may have the same perception. This tension could create a bad working atmosphere and prevent you from being included in important tasks or even being considered for promotion.
It will be very difficult to convince your colleagues that you work as hard as they do, since you spend less time in the office; they don’t understand that your work does not stop when you walk out the door; once home it’s still work. In an attempt to erase this image and prove themselves, many parents take office work home: answering emails, doing research, finishing a document, etc.
However, to balance your family life and work, a better approach is to focus on the work tasks when you are at the office, and to focus on your family, your spouse, your children, their day and their state of mind when you are at home. Even if you work from home, you absolutely must have a schedule. After certain hours, put a distance between you and your work; turn off your phone and your computer, put away documents and above all, stop brooding over the remaining work, to live the present moment with your family.
After a hard day at work, the last thing you want to do is to experience more frustrations when you get home. What to do in such situations? To begin, review the priority and importance of the frustration sources. Remember that nothing is perfect in this world, the ideal situation does not exist; you have to adjust your perception.
Moreover, you can have more support than you think; ask for help: your children, your spouse, your family, your friends, organizations, etc. No one will consider you incompetent; all parents have gone through difficult times.