Sunday, July 10, 2011

15 Effective Parenting Tips For Working Moms

Guest blog post by Marina

Mothers tend to put their families first and other tasks second. This comes as natural as breathing to most moms. However, the challenge of keeping a family afloat and being the best parent possible while doing justice to one’s career is not easy. It’s not just the men that bring in the bacon anymore. Men and women have to work and hold multiple jobs at times to provide for their families. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of women are working either part time or full time. The stress of trying to balance it all, especially in the effective parenting department can get to the best of women. Here are a few tips for effective parenting if you are a working mom.


1. If you have a partner, make sure you divide your family’s responsibilities equally with him. Discuss mutual work and home schedules and make clear lists as to who’s doing what over the week. Synchronize your schedules so that if one of you has an urgent task to complete, the other can take over for the family.

2. Parenting is a big job and it’s hard to do by yourself, even if you have a partner to help you. Drop your pride on the wayside and ask for help. Approach your family and friends who might be willing to help shoulder a bit of your burden. See if your family and friends can babysit sometimes, do your grocery shopping for you, or take your kids to visit their pediatricians and dentists so you don’t have to take the day off.

3. Accept help graciously; if someone offers help, don’t be in a hurry to say no. Maybe you have a lonely old lady living in your apartment building, who has time on her hands. Certainly, use her help, as long as she’s someone you can trust. Even if you don’t know how to use their help at the moment, say yes, and figure it out later. Always remember to appreciate people who help you.

4. Delegate the tasks you don’t find palatable. For example, if you find ironing to be a painful and time consuming task, send your ironing out to the cleaner if you can afford it. However, if you cannot afford to delegate ironing, make sure you buy clothes that don’t need to be ironed.

5. Trade chores with others who might like doing the tasks that you don’t. See if your mother, girlfriend, or sister-in-law is a good cook and doesn’t mind cooking a little extra for your family now and then. Do something for them in return that they don’t like to do, such as paying bills.

6. Get your kids involved in your life, work and responsibilities, even if they’re as young as seven. Kids are creative, energetic and are in need of developing their self-esteem. Delegate small, regular household tasks to your kids; this will help reduce your workload and teach accountability to your kids.


7. When you’re loaded with responsibilities at work, and have rambunctious kids at home, you have to plan. That’s the only thing that’ll save your sanity. Make To-Do lists for each week, setting a certain task to be done for every day of the week. Either take care of that task personally or delegate it to someone who can do it for you.

8. Plan your weekly menus in advance, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even if your lunch is going to be chicken salad sandwiches, it becomes easier if you’ve cooked chicken for the night before. By fixing a weekly menu, you don’t have to worry about what to make and whether you have the right ingredients at home.

9. Do your weekly grocery shopping on Saturdays. You can take your kids along and have your older kids watch your younger ones while you shop. If you have really young kids, you can shop for groceries online. Decide on your weekly menu before you grocery shop. Buy exactly the items you need for your weekly menu. This way you can keep an eye on your budget as well.


10. If you have a PTA meeting coming up the next week, or if you have a doctor’s appointment for your youngest this week, you’ll do well to create To-Do lists and set reminders. No one can be perfect. It’s entirely possible to completely forget an important meeting or overshoot the appointment.

11. If possible, invest in a smartphone that allows you to maintain multiple To-Do lists and daily, weekly, monthly and annual reminders.

12. At work, use your Email software to set up reminders for official tasks.

13. Always remember to synchronize your official obligations with personal schedules. For example, you might have your daughter’s PTA on Friday at 12 P.M., and there’s a meeting scheduled with an important client on the same day at the same time. By synchronizing your work and family schedules, you can avoid clashes in advance. You cannot be in two places at once. If you know your weekly schedule in advance, you can get someone to go to the PTA meeting in your place, and attend the client meeting yourself. Either that or you can reschedule your client meeting.


14. Don’t work all hours, even if you are career driven. You’ll end up neglecting your kids and in the long term, the guilt will drive your career success out of your mind. Stick to your work hours and try to work from home during nights and weekends if you absolutely need to.

15. When you’re at home, focus on your family and do the same when you’re at work. Don’t confuse your boundaries and cross over from work to family all the time. This will only confuse you, and create unnecessary stress.

Marina is co-owner of 1001Shops that offers a wide range of retail specialty products like bathroom etageres, stunning mirrors, console furniture and lot more.

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