5 Ways to Balance Work and Life with a Toddler
By Arleen Atienza
Image Source: Pexels
September 6 2022 - Working adults already have a lot to juggle. And when you add raising a child into the mix, it can be overwhelming. But having a career and raising a toddler doesnít have to be mutually exclusive. Yes, it can be challenging and overwhelming. And yes, there may be some missteps or what we like to call learning opportunities in your journey. Keeping that balance may take a lot of work, but here are some helpful tips that you can consider.
5 Tips for Balancing Work and Raising a Toddler
1. Discuss Work Adjustments with Your Immediate Manager or Employer
Because of recent world events, many companies have been forced to enter into a remote work arrangement. And a lot of these companies have adopted this work arrangement even as things are starting to normalize. Some are even welcoming alternative staffing solutions. This could be great news for working parents that are raising toddlers. If your function can be done remotely, then you can discuss a fully-remote or hybrid work arrangement with your employer. This way, youíll be able to manage your time and resources better. You can rechannel the time and energy you save from your daily commute towards raising a family. Those who advocate for work-life balance and employee well-being will be more open to implementing work adjustments for employees for two reasons: increased employee retention and productivity.
2. Be Meticulous in Choosing Right Childcare Support
Regardless of your work arrangement, you can still consider getting help with childcare. Whether itís hiring a babysitter for those days at work, leaving your toddler with a family member, or choosing a daycare, these options help open up a few hours for uninterrupted time to focus on your work while giving your child time for social interaction they may need. However, experienced parents know the importance of being thorough in choosing the right childcare support. Doing background checks on childcare providers and even joining online communities for working parents can help you with finding the right childcare support that works for you and your toddler.
3. Take Advantage of New Innovations
Toddlers may not need as much unbridled attention as newborns, but they still need some looking after. If youíre working at home, make sure you have your own workspace to let family members know that that space is for working and focusing. And make sure your child also has things to keep themselves busy while youíre working. You can choose a no-fuss play gym for your child or toys that are safe for toddlers to play with by themselves. And whether youíre working at the office or just in the next room, you can also consider still using baby monitors. Thanks to new innovations, there are plenty of tools and activities that will help you do your best at work while ensuring your childís safety and well-being.
4. Use Your Paid Time-Offs (PTO) Well
Regardless of your work arrangement, itís important to take time off from work. Doing so allows you to refresh your mind, take care of yourself, and spend more quality time with your loved ones. And when you do use your PTO credits, make sure you do it correctly. Itís important to set boundaries. Work will still be there when you get back from your time off, so instead of feeling like youíre still working while on vacation, try and make your PTO count. Doing so will help you feel more refreshed and ready to work on your tasks when you return.
5. Donít Forget to Take Care of Your Own Well-Being
Balancing a career and raising a child can be hectic. Your lifestyle can be so "on-the-go" that youíll think taking some time for yourself should take the backseat. But in reality, the only way youíll be able to successfully juggle all your responsibilities as a professional, parent, family member, friend, etc. is to take care of your well-being. And this is not limited to the rare spa days, which are good, but not enough. Take time out of your day for yourself, like doing a morning stretching or meditation routine, reading a book before bed, or writing in your journal. Taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being is key to giving yourself the right perspective and energy for your duties as a professional and as a parent of a toddler.
Hopefully, the support from your circle and the above tips can help you on your journey to balancing a career and raising a toddler. But itís important to remember that the idea of "having it together" all the time is a myth. Itís important to be kind to yourself and recognize that there will be moments when things can get overwhelming, and thatís okay. Donít be afraid to ask for help or advice if it's from your employer, family members, or community. Chances are, there are others who have gone through or are going through what youíre experiencing and can offer their insights or maybe just listen with open ears.