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7 Tips for Juggling Parents

October 10, 2017
7 Tips for Juggling Parents

Today, families where both mum & dad work is the norm!

In the last couple of decades, the number of women returning to work after their first child has increased. At the same time, commute times to and from work have also increased and further, the explosion of mobile technology has extended our working day.

It is no wonder that it isn’t always easy to maintain a career whilst raising a family!

Juggle Street was created to help parents with their work / family balancing act, and we are reminded every day of the challenges faced by juggling parents. Until now, nobody had measured the impact all this juggling on the Australian workplace. In January 2016 we commissioned Pureprofile™ to investigate the cost of lost productivity. The market research comprised 1,000 people across the nation equally split between men and women with at least one child 12 years or younger, where both parents (and single parents) worked full or part-time. Data analysis was provided by Bliss Point Research.

The landmark study of working mums and dads in Australia revealed that lost productivity costs a whopping $23.92 billion per annum.

• Thinking and stressing about juggling family issues while at work cost $12.64 billion

• Planning and dealing with family issues at work - $5.68 billion

• Arriving later and/or leaving early from work due to family issues - $2.44 billion

• Carer and ‘sickie’ days due to family issues - $3.15 billion

The study found that 53 per cent of young parents felt they had been overlooked for a work promotion or unable to take on new responsibilities due to child-related commitments.

A majority of parents working more than 50 hours per week felt their current employer was not “family friendly or flexible”. They also spent more time thinking or stressing about and dealing with child-related responsibilities compared with those who worked fewer hours in the week.

Plus, 63 per cent of participants said they had missed out on at least $10,000 in lost earnings over the past year due to managing their children’s needs, and 11 per cent said they missed out on $50,000 or more.

We understand that this is the reality, so we have put together some tips to help out in the meantime until you are able to achieve a healthy work-life balance through discussions with your employer!

Tips for juggling parents - how to stay on top of things

You need a team, not one person

Don’t try and find one perfect carer, it takes a village to raise a child. The more children you have, and the older they get, the more complex your requirements become. Create a local team – regular child care, nanny/babysitter, family, ad hoc last minute helpers. Local (just around the corner!) is the key.

Back-up, back-up and more back-up

Carers, children, and parents get sick. Accept that something will always go wrong! Plan ahead and have a back-up strategy in place.

Me Time & Date Nights

Ensure you have some non-negotiable 'me' time each week i.e. my Pilates class, my walk in the park etc. And use your network to maintain your personal relationships, not just your work ones. Even if this means paying for babysitters, maintain Me Time and Date Nights!

Tips for building and maintaining your network of carers

• be clear about your expectations, the do's and don’ts. Write a list of requirements and rules, especially regarding safety and treatment of your children

• if you want help with home duties, be up-front about it and communicate it very clearly

• Acknowledge and reward contributions that go above-and-beyond

• look for carers who will be good role models for your children, and teach your children to be respectful and helpful