As you are no doubt aware, being a new parent is hard work. However, it’s possible to make the transition from independent adult to busy parent without sacrificing your career or your sanity, as long as you learn how to manage your work/life balance. The key to maintaining an effective balance between your personal and professional life when you have kids depends on knowing how to prioritize and making flexible choices in each situation that arises. Here are five tips for successfully managing your work/life balance as a new parent.
1) Get Your Partner Involved
Although mothers still do more childcare than fathers, it’s increasingly common to see dads taking on an equal share of child-rearing responsibilities. This should be encouraged—couples who work together as a team are better able to manage their time and expectations. As such, make sure your partner is on board with your shared plans before you have children. When possible, talk about things like budgeting, hiring nannies or babysitters and how to divide responsibilities so everyone feels comfortable working together.
2) Take Advantage of Vacation Days
There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of your paid time off. In fact, doing so will help improve your work/life balance after you return to work. If you still feel guilty about using vacation days, remember that in order to be an effective employee when you do get back to work, it’s important that you maintain a good level of sleep and recuperation.
3) Communicate with your boss
There’s no way around it: You will need to communicate with your boss about your pregnancy. This may seem scary, but it really shouldn’t be. Bosses are people, too, and if they are unreasonable and try to pressure you into unhelpful situations, there are a range of workplace legislations to protect your rights.
4) Choose to work from home where possible
The world is changing, especially with the move to workplaces embracing the work from home model. If possible, opt for this as much as possible, as it can not only save you money on childcare, but save you time and hassle getting ready for the office, commuting, and prepare your child for the day.
5) Maintain exercise and healthy eating
As you get more sleep, it’s important to make sure you still find time to exercise and eat healthy. Whenever you can scrape more free time, don’t only spend it mindlessly snacking or watching TV. These activities may seem like they’re helping with boredom but are just unhealthy and will likely worsen your mental state. Be sure to schedule time for exercise and healthy eating into your new routine so that your work/life balance stays on track.