Asking for help from friends and family as a working parent, is a sensible thing to do as it takes a bit of the load off you and means that you can try and concentrate on one thing at a time-for a change!
Friends and Family
If you are returning to work having just had a baby, or following extended maternity leave, you will have to be highly organised and run your life to a regular schedule-at least between Monday and Friday.
One of the biggest elements of being a working parent is undoubtedly your childcare arrangements, and we have looked at different options that might be suitable for different families elsewhere on this site.
A Big Issue
Childcare is possibly the most stressful element of a working parents’ life and it is really important to get measures in place before you even think about going back to work, to make sure that you all know what the plan is for each day of your working week.
Asking for Help is Important
If regular childcare options such as nannies, au pairs and nurseries are not suitable for your family, and if you children are too young to attend a pre school setting, you should consider asking for help and support from friends and family.
Chances are they will be glad to help you as grandparents love to spend time with their grandchildren.
Friends with children will also be happy to help-particularly if you can do a child care swap with them on the days that they work.
The most important element of a childcare arrangement is to ensure that it suits your particular child and that they have a happy and relaxed time while you are at work.
Calling on good friends who you can trust, and family members is an excellent way to make sure that this happens, and you can be secure in the knowledge that your child is in good hands.
Boundaries, Rules and Routines
Friends and family are the obvious childcare solution for many working parents, and offer a relaxed and less formal arrangement than nurseries.
However, it is still really important that your friend or relative who is responsible for caring for your child while you are at work, is completely aware and understanding of your rules and boundaries.
Make it clear that your child should not be left to sit in front of the television for hours on end, and should have good, nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day.
If you have got your child into a regular pattern of having a mid morning or afternoon nap then you should ask your carer to stick to that as well.
Work Life Balance
More parents than ever work and we all need to find a way to achieve that elusive work life balance!
By getting your childcare sorted and asking for help from people who you trust-such as close friends and family-you may find a way to reduce stress levels and make sure that cost effective, reliable, safe and fun childcare arrangements are available for your child.
It is really important to make sure that whoever cares for your child is fully aware that the arrangement has to be regular and permanent.
We all get sick from time to time and there will be days when your friend or relative cannot help you.
However, if you work three days every week and your child carer knows this, they must understand that there is limited flexibility built into your week.
Establish ground rules right from the beginning and you should end up with a happy child and a stress free week!