If you’re a working parent, you know how difficult it can be to juggle your job as well as the needs of your family. Daily to-do lists can seem endless as more things get added on than those crossed off, and it can all feel overwhelming in no time. But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are ways to give yourself more balance in your day-to-day life and ways business owners and HR professionals can help parents out.
What parents can do:
Boundaries are important
It’s easy for work to creep into our downtime or “off hours” without us knowing it’s happening. This is especially true for people working at home or in a hybrid environment; in these instances, your workspace is now a part of your living space! The best way to help yourself when you start to see work spilling over to your family time is to set clear boundaries.
Set a stopping point at the end of the day where you don’t check your work emails, respond to any messages or work on any projects. Be sure to communicate these times to your coworkers so everyone knows your working hours.
Turn to your social support systems
Sometimes we all need people to turn to when things get tough. Parents are no exception to this. As a parent, it can feel like you need to have everything figured out and that you should be able to handle what’s in front of you.
But everyone needs help, and social support systems can go a long way to making things better and helping you avoid stress and negative health issues.1
Social support can come from:
- Family members
- Religious communities
- Professional health and social services
Keep a list handy
There’s always a lot to do during the week, from bringing kids to school to getting dinner ready to finishing your projects on time – chances are you’ve got plenty on your mind. That’s why it can help if you write things down. Whether it’s on your phone’s notepad or pen and paper, writing down your tasks can help reduce anxiety and give your day more structure.2
But it’s important to keep your goals and to-dos clearly defined and realistic. Whatever is on your list should fit into what you want to get done today rather than tasks that may take more time to finish.
As you cross off tasks, you’ll feel more satisfied throughout the day. Anything you can’t get done can go on your list for tomorrow, so you can start the next day more productive and ready to tackle your tasks.
Be empathic and check in with yourself
It can be easy to get frustrated with people at work or home as you juggle your daily life, but remember, you may not be the only one going through a lot right now. Your coworkers, your partner and your clients may be struggling and that may lead to things taking longer. Practice your empathy and rethink your expectations as you get projects done.
While you’re checking in with others, don’t forget to check in with yourself! Don’t try to get everything done in a day and power through it all. Productivity can fluctuate from day to day, and that’s ok. Embrace that reality and give yourself credit for what you are getting done. It’s important to celebrate the small wins each day and take it easy on yourself.
What employers can do:
Provide more care options
Offering mental health support resources can go a long way to helping employees feel less alone and without options. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, eight in 10 workers are looking for employers that offer mental health support.3
As an employer, you should consider bolstering your company’s mental health offerings to provide for your employees when things get tough. Another option can be more resource groups that meet in person or over calls. These groups can focus on getting parents together to discuss any issues they are having and what is on their minds.
Encourage transparency and clear communication
Heads of companies need to be more open with their workforce. This can be through more open conversations and regular check-ins with employees so they can hear issues firsthand. Being open to feedback and giving employees a safe space to talk about work can encourage people juggling multiple responsibilities to stay committed.
If you are a manager or leader in your organization, you can implement clear communication between people and departments. A great start can be through emails. Make it a company habit to clearly label when tasks are needed over email. Add in due dates or mark things as urgent in the subject line. This will give working parents an easier time classifying their projects and tasks.
Start building up a healthy work culture
When your company has a great internal culture, employees are more productive, there is less turnover and fewer incidents of workplace stress and absenteeism.4
You can help foster a better work culture in your business in many ways, including:
- Offering flexible and remote working options
- Providing volunteer opportunities
- Considering including more childcare benefits for working parents
- Rethinking your time off benefits
Using Foresters benefits for your well-being
If you need to disconnect and recharge your batteries between work events and the daily routine, change things up with some member benefits!
Get some fresh air and get your body moving using Foresters Go™ when you need a break. Join in on friendly challenges and earn Rewards Points redeemable for gift cards, electronics and more.
If you want to give back, you can with our Foresters Care™ grant. It’s a quick and easy way to make a difference with up to $200 to help support needs in your community.
Reconnect with the people who matter most and meet new Foresters members with Foresters Moments.™ This grant helps you plan fun activities and create lasting memories.
Login to MyForesters to learn more about these benefits available to you now!
421590 CAN/US (03/23)