Single parenting is hard enough. Add in the stresses of daily professional life, and you wouldn’t blame a working single parent for wanting to stay in bed all day. No matter what your profession is, working as a single parent means juggling responsibilities long after you clock out. Providing for your children financially is an important role, but kids need more than food on the table and a roof over their heads.
Most people strive for a healthy work/life balance, but it’s particularly important for single parents. A strict policy against bringing work home, help with the kids and regular getaways with your prides and joys will keep your family, career and sanity happy and healthy.
Work Stays at Work
As sole providers for their families, single parents feel an especially high amount of pressure to perform well at work. The fear of losing a job and source of income can drive parents to work excessive hours and dedicate time off the clock to work-related activities. Single parents are right to take their jobs seriously, but bringing work home promotes one part of parenting while ignoring another. You need to make money, yes, but you also need to give your kids love, patience and undivided attention. It’s difficult to offer your child advice while you’re researching an American Express small business credit card for work.
Once you leave the office (or wherever you work), take off your professional hat and put on your parenting hat. Leave unread emails alone, ignore work phone calls and save that brainstorming session for the next morning. Turning off your work engines will give you a rejuvenated spirit the next morning, and you’ll be able to focus on what really matters: your kids.
Don’t Do it Alone
You may be a single parent, but you don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or pass along some typical parenting responsibilities to trusted friends and family. If possible, hire a nanny or babysitter to take care of young children and drive kids to and from school while you’re at work. You’ll be able to focus your energy on work without worrying about your kids.
Don’t have room in the family budget for hired help? Ask a relative or close friend to watch the kids while you wrap up the day.
Escape the Grind
No matter how well you balance work and family life, every once in a while it’s best for you and your kids to spend quality time away. Whether you head for the beach, mountains or city, keep a vacation date circled on the calendar. There are great benefits of taking time off; not only will it keep you refreshed and recharged, you get time to reflect on the life you work so hard to keep up. One look at your kids and you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.