4 common problems working parents face & how to deal with them
Family or career? Honestly, this should not be a question. Being a working parent has its challenges, but can be done without losing one’s mind. We have compiled a list of common problems they face – and how to deal with them as effectively as possible.
Your child is sick
Whether you get a call from school to pick up your child or they wake up with the flu, you’ll most likely need to leave the office for the day to take care of them. While some employers make it easy for parents to work from home, not all do, unfortunately. So what's the way out?
That way forward here is to be proactive. If you take your problem to your manager, they might consider another thing for them to deal with that day. But, if you offer a solution instead of problems, you will have a much better chance of leaving the office without incident. No matter what’s on your agenda for the day, find a way to get it done. While you might be able to move some tasks to another day or take some work home with you, you can propose dialing in for any meeting and presentations on your schedule.
Family emergency right before an important presentation
Emergencies come in many different forms, but one thing they have in common is that they tend to appear at the most inconvenient time. Before panicking, it’s important to stay calm and take a moment to objectively evaluate the situation. Do you have to leave immediately, or can another family member be there so that you can join later? If you must leave, but can video conference in for the presentation, float that as an option. If it’s not possible, finish your presentation, explain it to another team member, and loop your manager in on what’s happening.
The guilty feeling of working full-time and pursuing a career
Being an attentive parent and having the ambition to pursue a career can be not just exhausting but can make you feel that if you’re excelling at one, you’re failing at the other. How can parents best deal with this problem? Luckily, there are many role models, such as Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and the former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who parents can look up to. They have established the fact that both male and female parents can be successful working full-time and be responsible, caring parents. When feeling guilty, just remember that it’s the quality of time that will have a positive impact on children.
Learning new skills outside of work
With emerging technologies and a constantly transforming business environment, the nature of our jobs keeps challenging us. To stay on top of things, we need to expand our skill sets and invest in our careers. That said, attending courses and attempting a career switch can be tough if you have to constantly run after your toddler.
Instead, look for online courses you can take after work or at your leisure, or educational podcasts that you can listen to during your commute or during lunch. It may not be as swift as a certification course, but you’ll still be learning.
Being a working parent can be challenging - be it a family emergency or reserving some time for yourself. However, for every problem there is a solution.