Career and Child: Finding the Balance, Part 1
By Adrie Van Wonterghem
Finding the balance between a full-time career and full-time parenthood is perhaps one of the most challenging dilemmas working parents’ experience. Many parents wonder what the effects of their career ambitions will be on their children’s overall development and happiness. The good news is, with ample organization and the right mindset, many parents can achieve a balance that supports their family financially and relationally. Here are few tips on how to establish a healthy balance between career and child.
Quality over Quantity
The time you spend with your child is filled with opportunity. For working parents, the window of time spent with our little ones is often in competition with many other responsibilities. The most important way you can prioritize your children’s wellbeing is to ensure that the time you spend together is meaningful. Rather than throwing on the television while you cook dinner, encourage your little one to help you and provide opportunities for conversation as you develop skills such as measuring, kneading and mixing together. Whenever possible, put down the phones and screens, and pick up your child’s interests. Does your little one go crazy for Legos? Spend some time building together, asking questions about his design and following his lead. Prioritize your child as you give them your full attention in the minutes you do have together. Quality interaction strengthens your child self-image, relational skills, and reaffirms that you value and care for them.
Make time for Special Moments
Create a routine that includes special moments for one-on-one connection with your child. Fine creative ways to meaningfully connect with your child throughout the week. Whether it is enjoying a special treat together on the way home from day care, or reading together before bed, taking moments to pause in your routine communicates to your child that they are important and worthy of your time. On particularly busy weeks, plan for special moments to give yourself and your child a chance to catch up and reconnect.
Find Childcare Providers that you Trust
Knowing that your child is in an environment that you trust is crucial to relieving guilt associated with working full time. When your childcare provider prioritizes child development, safety, and wellbeing, you are free to focus your energy on your work so that when you do have time with your child, you can focus entirely on them. Look for childcare providers with low teacher to child ratios, flexible hours, clean and spacious environments, and up to date licenses. Check for quality references and extensive experience in the world of early childhood. Ask for daily updates on your little one’s experience, that include specific comments and if possible, pictures or videos. Click here for more information on quality early childhood care.
Working full time and parenting full time is no easy task. Stay tuned for next week’s continuation of Career and Child: Finding the Balance as we tackle working from home with little ones and share more tips for balancing the full time demands of both.