Karlyn Quinn 5m 750 #worklife
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Work-Life Balance For Parents
Life is a balancing act for everybody, but for parents, in particular, that balance often feels like a never-ending tightrope walk especially when the demands of family and career overlap. Finding the time, resources, and energy to fulfill coinciding responsibilities explains why 75% of working parents experience stress and anxiety as a result of work-life balance.
Stress is the body’s reaction to physical, mental, and emotional challenges. When the pressure rises, so do our stress levels. A little stress, however, is perfectly healthy as it can act as motivation or an indicator that we need to make a change. Be careful though — too much stress or prolonged stress can be harmful to our physical and mental well-being.
Let’s explore some of the best techniques behind stress management so parents alike can finally maintain a healthy ratio between personal and professional life:
A new report in Parents Magazine examines the stress of child transportation for working parents, finding that 44% of parents spend five hours or more each week driving kids to and from school and activities with over a third of parents asserting that driving their children around is more stressful than filing taxes!
To really ‘drive the point home,’ it’s worth mentioning that 40% of parents say their regular work schedule is interrupted on a weekly basis due to their child’s transportation needs. At the same time, half of parents admit their work schedule has prevented their child from participating in an after-school activity.
In this instance, finding a balance doesn’t have to be a one-person job. Instead, seeking out help from others can be a happy medium for all parties. Carpooling, for example, is a worthwhile way to cut down on stress for all. If you’re a teacher with summers off from work, and the mother of your child’s teammate works the night shift — carpooling would a be a mutually beneficial way to accommodate both schedules. You could shuttle the kids to and from summer camp, and in turn, they could chauffeur the kids to school in the mornings.
Sharing responsibility like this can: alleviate the anxiety caused by rushing or being late to work, reduce financially induced stress by cutting down on fuel, and provide a time to catch up with your children and their friends.
Aside from carpooling, there are many other resources available to increase the quality of our work-life balance. The best part? These resources are right at the tips of our fingers. Instacart is a mobile phone app that allows users to select groceries from certain local retailers which are then delivered to your doorstep by a personal shopper. Less time spent grocery shopping means more time to spend with your family.
Want to kick it up a notch? Try a meal-kit subscription where you can have pre-portioned fresh ingredients for various recipes delivered to your home to take away some of the burdens of preparing a home-cooked meal. To give you an idea, HelloFresh offers different plans, including “fit meals” — their most nutrient-rich recipes, or “quick meals” which only take a maximum of 30 minutes to make. Not to mention their “family plan” option that has all the same benefits, but with the bonus of kid-friendly recipes.
You can even take your leftovers for lunch at work the next day. In fact, “90% of employees claim that taking a lunch break helps them feel refreshed and ready to go back to work,” as reported by a survey in Forbes magazine regarding the importance of lunch breaks in the workplace. “[Lunch] breaks are essential in helping employees de-stress and re-charge for the rest of the workday.”
Another consideration for the health and well-being of working parents is the convenience of telemedicine, which provides access to healthcare online. Telemedicine is an excellent resource for working parents who are always looking to save time and money. It spares them from making a trip to the doctor’s office or waiting in line at the pharmacy, in addition to helping them save money on copays and prescriptions like birth control (which is essential for those who aren’t looking to expand their already busy family).
The bottom line is that working parents experience immense stress that can have negative implications on their overall well-being, and sometimes, can even affect their children. Fortunately, for those willing to look, there are always little adjustments that can go a long way in helping to find harmony between work life and home life.