More and more people are struggling financially once they start a family. Most of us would love to stay at home and be with the kids. We want to nurture our offspring and ensure they have the very best start in life. After all, we should be the ones raising our kids, not a creche or childminder.
Sadly, this isn’t the reality most of us are facing. We need to earn to cover the rising cost of living. But as the cost of childcare is also rising, many of us could be working for nothing. So how do you balance this and still bring home those extra dollars to make ends meet? How is it possible to remove the stress from the situation? Firstly, you need to stop worrying about cash. There are other priorities here. Your work-life balance is at stake. The happiness and development of your children should be your main concern.
Spending as much time with your children is usually our main focus. Work can still be worked around having a young family. School age children will be out of your care during the day but not during the holidays. Make sure you can take your leave when the kids are out of school. If you can’t manage all the weeks they are off, plan for them to be enrolled in summer schools and activities that provide plenty of fun. Reducing your hours during those weeks can help ensure you get the quality time you’re craving.
Working from home is one option to help you cope with very small children. Nap time is ideal for cracking on with those tasks and chores that need doing. But being self-employed requires a lot of tenacity and determination. If you are running your own business, be sure to give yourself enough time away from the parenting duties to succeed as well. Finding the balance is hard in the early days. Only you can determine how much time is too much time away from your babies.
Calling on your parents to help provide childcare is one way to give you the time you need for your work or business. However, there are some excellent childcare providers out there. Look for ones that have plenty of other kids on their books. Socialising is very important for children of all ages. When they come home to you again, talk to them about their day and see what kinds of activities are sticking in their mind. These could be the ones to focus on at home together too.
If you look at the Mad Cow Entertainment website, you will find dozens of great activities to do with your kids. Some may get you out of the house for the whole day. Others are short but educationally rich in nature. It’s important you pick a variety of things to do together when you have family time. Turn off the phone, and power down the laptop. This is your quality time together, and work is over right now.
It’s not always easy to strike the right balance. Routines don’t always work because children grow and change. However, parents do succeed in business and raising their child. You can do it too.
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Vinh Van Lam & Stuart Horrex
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