With school right around the corner, many people are wondering how to juggle parenting and a full-time job. Except for perhaps five weeks after my second child was born, I have always had a full-time job along with the main responsibility of parenting and homemaking. And, while it’s not always easy to juggle such different priorities, it is certainly possible with a little bit of advanced planning.
The most important suggestion that I can offer you is to stop expecting to be everything for everybody. All that will do is set you up for disappointment and frustration. It’s unlikely that you are going to hold down a full-time job, be Betty Crocker and Suzy Homemaker, volunteer for three charities and be the President of the PTA. It’s not impossible, but it’s pretty unlikely unless you want to run yourself ragged. Give yourself permission to be and do what you can.
Remember that it’s OK to ask for help if you need it. And, it’s perfectly alright to say no when you need to. Decide your priorities and then keep them in mind when you are asked to do more. If you can’t meet your priorities, reach out to a friend or family member and ask for help. Or, look at your calendar or planner and see what you can eliminate to free up more time.
It’s very important to learn to plan ahead whether that means freezer cooking on the weekend, laying out the kids clothes the night before, or being sure to keep your planner with you to keep track of errands. One forgotten permission slip for school or one missed appointment can cause a lot of stress and tension. Planning ahead will make your day run more smoothly which will help you be more productive.
Don’t overextend yourself. We all want to feel like we’re doing the best we can for everyone around us. But, skimping on sleep or putting your health second will just burn you out in the long run. It’s important that you take time for yourself, get enough sleep, and practice self-care. That means that taking time for a walk during lunch or a yoga class on the weekend can be more beneficial than pushing to get even more done.
Remember to be realistic about what you can accomplish without pushing too hard. It’s OK to turn down an invitation, use a grocery delivery service for easier dinners, or take off a mental health day. You’ll feel more refreshed when you go back the next day which will be good for everyone.