3 Things Every Working Parent Needs to Know

Whether you are expectant; on maternity or Shared Parental Leave; planning for adoption; a recent returner or a working parent of 10 years;  if you want to develop a healthy work/parenting balance, which is sustainable for the longer term, consider the 3 most crucial ways to stay ahead as a working parent

3 Things Every Working Parent Needs to Know  

  1. You have to look after yourself

Women are very good at taking care of themselves during pregnancy; men are good at maintaining weekly sports training until the sleep deprivation of a new-born set in.  When we go through strenuous periods of change, it’s essential that we increase our personal levels of self-care.  Without this, there will be no energy left for the following 2 points.  Get the basics right FIRST:

  • Sleep – establish a routine; take turns to catch up with sleep
  • Nutrition – go and see a nutritionist or read up on what foods will give you long-term energy levels
  • Exercise – you are absolutely not being selfish for taking time out to exercise (a working parent’s guilt). If you are not fit to look after your family, who else will do it? 
  1. You have to change the way you work

If you want to ensure that you get time to see your baby/children regularly, you will need to focus on your productivity.  This sounds pretty obvious until you sit down and honestly assess your own personal productivity levels.  What did you do yesterday at work that contributed towards your key goals?  What did you do the day before that?  Do you know what your key goals are?  As we no longer have the luxury of time, we need to become very disciplined in identifying our top 3, value-add activities every day, and get these done FIRST.

  1. You have to work harder on the things you took for granted before you became a parent.

The key areas that drop off our to-do list as a manic working parent are usually the things that will give us the most LONGER-TERM satisfaction, reward and recognition.  This is nearly always because we fire-fight all day just to get through the to-do list.  It’s also much easier for recent returners who may still be lacking in confidence to ‘hide’ behind the easier, more routine tasks.  However, consider taking time each week for:

  • Networking – this doesn’t have to be traditional early morning breakfasts or after-work drinking sessions (we wish!!) – use all opportunities you can to chat to people during the day and over lunch
  • Remaining current – reading around your area of expertise; understanding what others are doing in the same industry in different companies
  • Managing upwards – how well do you know your manager? Your manager’s manager?  How well do they know you?  Look for a coffee, lunch or meeting opportunity to get to know them better

For more information and tips, contact the team at Parent and Professional.

Share this story

Sign up for industry updates