September 16 is National Working Parents Day

Being a working parent certainly has its challenges—staying on top of your kids’ activities and schooling while attempting to excel at work is rarely an easy feat. So how can working parents successfully balance their home and work lives? The answer is “carefully and with flexibility,” it turns out. Here are some tips for parents who are doing the balancing act:

  • Have a back-up plan. If your regular sitter is sick or an emergency arises, you’ll need someone you can call to fill in on short notice, every time.
  • Remember, it takes a village. Don’t hesitate to rely on your parents, other family, and friends with kids if they are willing to lend a hand. Consider trading childcare with a neighbor, or having your parents pick your children up from school on Fridays and letting them spoil the kids while you have a little time to yourself. Don’t isolate yourself and think you must go it alone to do things “right.”
  • Don’t neglect yourself. You’ll be ineffective both at work and at home if you don’t get adequate rest, nutrition, exercise, and opportunities to relieve stress. Make your own health a priority to be able to give your all.
  • Prioritize work-life balance and a flexible schedule. If you have the opportunity, put these things high on the list when choosing a job or negotiating perks with a promotion. Of course, salary is important, but carving out time to spend with your family is priceless.
  • Outsource where you can. If it fits in your budget, why not pay someone else to clean the house, do yardwork, and even do the laundry? Squeeze more time out of your week by not having to waste it doing those necessary but time-consuming tasks.