7-step working parents’ guide to finding your balance

3rd May 2016

If you’re a parent and you work outside the home, you probably feel busier than you’ve ever felt before. And you probably are! Nurturing kids and a career (and everything in-between) isn’t easy; in fact, it takes an incredible amount of juggling, organisation and time. But there are ways to strike a balance and make it work.

Recently, one of Kaizen’s directors, Lauren Mulligan, shared her top tips for returning to the workplace after maternity leave. As a busy working mum, who also happens to be studying an MBA alongside running a business, Lauren knows a thing or two about keeping everything and everyone in check. Here, she shares a seven-step guide to keeping things running smoothly as a working parent:

1. Say yes to help

It’s not always easy to accept offers of help, but when you’re juggling school runs, homework, housework, working life and just life in general, it’s impossible to do it all on your own. Swallow your pride and lighten the load on yourself and your partner.

2. Get organised the night before

This really is key to ensuring you get out of the house on time in the morning. As tempting as it can be to put off getting outfits, lunches and bags ready, you’ll be so glad you got organised the night before when the morning rush comes around.

3. Make lunchtimes count

Make the most of your lunch break at work by catching up on life admin – paying bills, booking appointments, filling out forms, etc – in order to save valuable evening and weekend time.

4. Batch cook

As well as doing a weekly grocery shop (online if possible) at the weekend, spend a couple of hours batch cooking for the week ahead. Cooking from scratch every evening after a long day at work takes so much longer, and nobody has time for that – especially not you!

5. Cheat clean

If you can, hire a cleaner. Otherwise, get everyone to do a daily 10-minute cleaning frenzie, running around picking things up and putting them away. Even if you just focus on one room or one task, you can make a big impact in a short space of time. This doesn’t include the nightly kitchen clean up, of course. Also, antibacterial wipes – stockpile!

6. Schedule family time

It may sound military, but if there’s one thing you should schedule, it’s weekly family time. If you don’t, you might find that weeks have passed since your clan has made the effort to get together for some quality time outside the four walls. Go to the park, go for a walk, take a day trip – do something together that doesn’t involve cooking, cleaning or being in the house.

7. Prioritise

No matter what you think or what it looks like from the outside, nobody has it all. Decide what’s important to you and your family and concentrate on making that your priority. Don’t sweat about the stuff you didn’t get round to – eating five a day, going for a run, cleaning the loos – there’s always tomorrow… or next week!