With many urban parents choosing to step into the professional world, finding the right balance between parenthood and work can be quite a feat. Whether you work to earn an extra income or to fulfill your career aspirations, spending quality time nurturing the relationship with your child an family at large is equally important.
Search Institute, along with prominent organizations such as the Harvard Family Research Project and the Family Strengthening Policy Center, conducted a study on strong family bonds. The research clearly indicated that strenuous job demands, overscheduling and financial pressures act as stumbling blocks in building a strong family. Expert psychiatrist Dr. Sanjay Chugh adds,” Children who enjoy focused attention from their parents are less likely to suffer from behavioral problems.”
To make the task a little less daunting, following the below mentioned tips can be helpful:
- Family-friendly Employer: Try to find a company that offers flexible work arrangements such as telecommuting, work-at-home, job sharing or a part-time schedule. To get support, communicate your personal and professional goals to the company management. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that over 50% companies that offer flexibility at work benefitted enormously from these programs.
- Exclusive Family time: To strengthen family bonds, chalk out specific days or times during the week as exclusive family time. In addition, plan out activities for these times in advance and add to the fun.
- Gain mutual understanding: Earn support from your kids by communicating and educating them about your work demands.
- Additional assistance: Hire a domestic help to do up routine household chores. This will help you gain extra time for your child.
- Recreational activities: Figure out creative ways to spend quality time with kids and indulge in family activities together such as playing games, reading books, painting, fetching grocery, sports, camping or enrolling for hobby classes.
- Fixed Work hours:Set clear parameters about your work-time limits and inform your co-workers about these limits. Once the time is up, stop working and head for home.
- Freelance Careers:Opt for a freelance career till your children are old enough. SakshiJuneja, an interior designer, chose to freelance till her daughter joined school. Although she worked for few hours, she was always around and did not miss out any precious moments. To quote her, “As my balancing act was far easier to handle, I enjoyed the best of both worlds!”
Parenting expert & clinical psychologist, Dr SmitaPandey Bhat, Senior Manager, Clinical Research Company, NCR, comments, ”Spending quality time is important irrespective of whether you are working full-time, part-time or stay-at-home. The kind of parent you are will make the biggest difference and determine the well-being of your child.”
Personally witnessing special moments like their first step, first bike ride, first dance movement, or first game can be priceless.Although it can be a little stressful, but with a positive frame of mind, dedication and discipline, the right balance between parenthood and work can definitely be achieved.