For the greater percentage of parents in the United States and around the world, working and balancing our home lives is an everyday struggle. We go to work all day only to come home to a bevy of responsibilities. Does this sound familiar to you? It sure does to me! So many parents find themselves between a rock and a hard place. The duties they are expected to do at work and the duties at home that they are obligated to do. How do you find balance? How can you be expected to do so much? You find yourself asking these questions in your head over and over.
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Let’s be real for a moment…
The cold hard truth is that it isn’t easy to work and parent at the same time. There really isn’t some miracle solution out there, but there are ways to divide up your time. For most people having to work full-time is just a fact of life.
Believe it or not, not everyone is born living in a castle with money flooding the halls. Of course we all wish for that, the ability to just let go of all responsibilities and live our lives the way we truly wish to without the concern of paying the rent, affording groceries, paying the electric bill, paying for gas, repairs to our homes, and all of the other things we struggle to do as a working class citizen.
How do people do it? I will tell you from experience it isn’t easy. From finding a reliable babysitter to making sure we have reliable transportation to work, we as parents could easily become overwhelmed with obligations. Not only do we have to create a balance between work and family but we have to excel at both.
Depending on your personality, strengths and abilities you may have a harder time doing this than others. Not everyone has the perfect job that they are amazing at, well-respected, or even liked! Try having a job you dislike, not being paid enough to make ends meet, and not even liking or being able to do your job well. This is the case for so many people.
So many parents find themselves at dead-end jobs, making minimum wage, not enjoying what they do and pulling long hours for little to no gratitude from their bosses. To top things off, after work, many parents must go home, cook, clean, help with homework, and spend quality time whilst being exhausted.
What will help me get through this?
How do people do it? Parenting and working is not easy, but it is doable if you take time and evaluate your situation. Sit down and write a schedule for yourself. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by staying up late at night and not getting enough sleep.
Recharge your batteries. You need to be well rested to pull off what you need to do. Don’t forget to set an alarm. I get it, we all hate them, but it is necessary. Being well rested will help you to not become irritable when your children are being playful or you are needing to get things done. It will help you maintain focus at work and overall it will increase your desire to do better work and maintain more cheerful relations with coworkers and family.
Things will improve if you get more organized.
Once you are well rested and balance out your schedule, create a budget for yourself. Having a budget is absolutely key if you are relying on a limited income. Write out your monthly expenses! Jot down on a piece of paper or notebook what your bills average at versus how much money you make per week/month. From there you should be able to estimate approximately how much you are able to spare for gas, groceries, and if they apply, babysitting/daycare fees.
Abide by this budget, do not lend money to people if you cannot afford to, never put the need of others before your own family. This is harder for some people than others. If you have a family of your own, children, bills to pay, and you are struggling, do not allow yourself to go bankrupt because of your inability to say no.
What about this job I hate?
Now, when it comes to your job, if you are not happy there and it doesn’t provide what you and your family truly need, then you need to find an exit strategy. Create a good resume and begin networking. Again, sit down and write some things out. I know it is hard to concentrate when you are overwhelmed, but this could be valuable to your future success.
What could be better than that? Write out your experiences, skills, and really talk yourself up. Be honest, but give yourself credit for the things you are good at. If you are unsure how to create a resume there are many tools you can search for online. Ask a friend or family member if you have to. Post your newly updated resume online and blast it out on as many reputable job finding websites as you can and see what happens. You have to initiate things in order for change to occur. I guarantee if you put forth effort it will yield great results.
Once you find yourself more energized, organized, and hopefully with more potential opportunities on the horizon, don’t forget to embrace your family. Hug your children more, read to them, play with them, and enjoy them every chance that you get outside of work.
You may feel that because you work that your children won’t love you as much or remember the things you do together. Remove these negative thoughts from your mind! If you spend time with your children before or after work, care for them, and show them that you love them, they will always think the world of you. When they see how you work each day and still make room for them in your downtime, your children will look up to you more than you think. You are capable of creating balance in your life, but you have to take the initiative to do so.
Alternative to working outside the home
At the time I originally wrote this post I was working in a factory full time with tons of overtime work.
My schedule was unpredictable so I decided to start a blog to work from home. Fast forward to today and I am earning with that blog and able to stay home with my family.
Blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme but you can definitely earn from it with hard work and determination.
I highly recommend starting your own website with Bluehost. The are affordable and offer great support.
If you want to learn how to start a blog like mine you can check out this post!