It’s no secret that trying to balance a career, a home and children can be tough. Some things are going to slip through the cracks and take less priority over others. Today, many parents have become familiar with the term “parent guilt”. Balancing a career and family can be a challenge and parents often feel that they are not spending the time they want with their children due to being pulled in so many different directions. So how do parents balance careers, household responsibilities, and children?
It’s important to have a routine. A routine will help you stay organized and minimize the time spent trying to catch up. But staying present and spending quality time with your family goes beyond your everyday routine. It’s important that when you are with your children and your family, that you there and enjoying the moment instead of thinking of the other hundred tasks you need to accomplish or taking a peak at your work e-mail every so often.
Here are some tips on how to stay present:
Unplug. Parents are doing their best to ensure their children aren’t spending too much time in front of a screen, but it’s important to remember to practice what we preach. When we have our phones or tablets near, we all have the urge to take a minute to check our social media pages or e-mails. But when it comes to spending time with your family, even if it’s the few minutes your children recapping their exciting day or you are helping them with their homework, make sure you unplug. Leave your phone in the other room or put it down and really enjoy whatever activity you are taking part in with your children.
Plan family time. Think of fun activities to do as a family and make time for them. It can be as simple as reading a book before bed, being creative with arts and craft projects or going out on an adventure. There are many benefits to family time, but most of all it’s fun! When thinking of activities to do together, try to find activities that take you away from your every day responsibilities. Go to a library and pick out books, head over to the park and have a picnic together or go on a walk together as a family.
Involve your children. Some days no matter how much planning you put into it, things just don’t go your way. If this is the case and you know your day will be full of playing catch up, involve your children where you can. Dinner can take a good amount of time out of your evening between preparation and clean up, so why not have your child help you out? Even if the actual dinner preparation is something they can’t help with, perhaps they can help with clean up or they can work on chores focused in the kitchen. This gives you the opportunity to spend time with them and also encourages children to follow directions. You may be able to get some of your tasks done faster on your own, but you never know what memories you can make by involving your children in the everyday activities they normally may not be a part of.
Savor the moment. When we spend time with our children, it can be so hard to not pick up our phones and snap a picture or video of them, especially when it seems each day they are doing something new and incredible. We completely understand wanting to document the big moments like the first time your child rolls over or they take their first step, but we encourage families to try their best to step out from being behind the camera. Enjoy the moment and actually be present for your child’s fun milestones as they grow.
What tips would you add to the list of ways to stay present?