29th May 2019
Ash's Top 10 Tips For Busy Working Parents
Hi, I’m Ash and I am a mother of two. I am also a full-time employee at Nick Did This, working in the Account Service team.
The question I often get asked when someone realises I am a working mother is, “How do you do it all?” and I never know how to answer it. It’s something I don’t have time to think about; I just make it work. I love being a mother, but I also love my career and it is great that I can have both.
I am very organised (hence why I am an Account Manager) and I do believe this makes it easier for me to manage my boys (husband included) as well as work full-time. I can be a ruthless rule-setter both at work and at home (which my boys will definitely agree with). I will never run a project that doesn’t have a timeline or a spreadsheet of some kind. This goes for home life, too. I plan meals in advance and I have my yearly budget spreadsheeted out for the entire year. However, as much as I plan, everything doesn’t always go smoothly and sometimes I find I have to make things up as I go along.
I thought I would jot down the top 10 things that have helped me juggle my daily home and work life:
- Let your children wear what they want in the morning. Even if it’s a Batman suit with a Superman cape and a Storm Trooper mask with light up gumboots, at least you will be on time!
- If your child wants tuck-shop remember to order it! Otherwise you will have a disappointed child who had to eat food from the office and judgmental looks from the teacher.
- Work support. I have been very fortunate within my career to work for three agencies that have provided me with flexible working hours so I can attend childcare and school events (got to love a good Christmas concert and Easter bonnet parade!)
- Meal plan and prep on the weekend. This is a lifesaver and timesaver during the week.
- Drink lots of wine.
- Ask for help and support from family members. My husband is a shift-worker which means I am flying solo 50% of the time. Having family members close and willing to help makes a huge difference.
- Establish sane working hours. Once again, I have the support of the management team at Nick Did This to work 7.30am – 4pm each day. This ensures I’m home at a reasonable hour and can spend time with my kids.
- Say yes to grocery shopping… this means “me” time. Having an hour to yourself can be bliss. It also means you have time to check out any of the latest sales in the shops around the supermarket.
- If you forget things like “the materials for your child to make their Easter bonnet at school”, it’s ok because they can just borrow a pipe cleaner and a fluffy chicken from a friend to hang off the side of their hat as their decoration.
- Finally, you need to have fun! Try to remember to “seize the day” both at work and with your family. Enjoy these moments, because, at the end of the day, this is what life is really all about.
When reflecting on these 10 things, I do feel that it’s not really about having a work-life balance, but more about having a work-life integration. Some days work requires more attention and other times it will be my kids. You can’t always leave work at work and home at home, because we live in a world where technology provides instant access to information and people. You just have to find what works for you.
– Ashleigh Cox,
Senior Account Manager at Nick Did This