Written By: Lacie Martin (Raisethemwell.org)
4 Ways To Balance Full-Time Work and Full-Time Parenting
In this modern world, Little Scholars Montessori Academy knows that maintaining balance as a parent is challenging. Whether you work full time and manage preschoolers, homeschoolers, or remote learners, several resources can help you get it all done without losing your mind.
1. Stock up on open-ended materials.
Depending on your children's ages, the materials will look different, but having a sports bin and an art bin in reach at all times helps smooth transitions and waiting times. If you're concerned about potential messes, limit the art bin to paper, crayons, and washable markers.
2. Use technology wisely.
● Plan for screen time. It's true; screen time gets a lot of bad press. However, used wisely, it can be a valuable resource. Choosing educational screen-based options, including ones with a Montessori philosophy, can get your children thinking while giving you the time you need for focused work or important phone calls.
● If you or the kids are needing an upgrade, you can score inexpensive new computers through manufacturers’ websites.
● The internet is flush with benefits and pitfalls. Be sure to add parental control software to any gadgets that your kids might be using.
● Incorporate screen-free time. The world is filled with screens, so it takes effort to step away from them every so often. Screen-free time gives you and your children a chance to rest your eyes, be present with your thoughts, and refresh your brain.
3. Stick to a schedule.
● Maintain a consistent routine. Although the school day may have a built-in routine, what about your home life? Some researchers say that children do better when they get plenty of sleep. Having a set bedtime and an appropriate wake-up time goes a long way toward having a smooth, low-stress day.
● Create a visual itinerary. Do you ever have trouble keeping up with all the things you need to do in a day? So do your kids. Making a new task list every day may be unnecessary for school children because they often do the same things every day. Work together to put the basics, such as eating breakfast, brushing teeth, math, reading, and so on, onto a poster and hanging it up where they can see it. This saves you time trying and helps the children learn to manage their own time.
● Plan for time to connect as a family. With everyone going their different ways all day (even within the same house), it's tough to stay on the same page and maintain family unity. Whether you sit down to a meal together every night, play games, or do something together on weekends, prioritize time when you all give each other your undivided attention.
● Make time every day for gestures that improve health and happiness. Some exercise, accomplishing small tasks, the occasional hug, and just sharing positive thoughts can go a long way towards improving your family’s dynamic.
4. Maintain a support network outside the home.
Your kids need to have friends, but it's equally important for them to have adults they look up to outside the immediate family. You also need friends, supporters, and mentors, and someone needs you. Make time to foster those connections.
Each of these techniques, when implemented, can make a difference in your family's daily routine. When you add up all the small improvements, you have a more streamlined, less stressful work and school day that nourishes the whole family and the whole child.
Turn to Little Scholars Montessori Academy for more information on how your family can live full and balanced lives.