Does the feeling that you are not spending enough time with your children nag you? SupportBiz lists nine simple tips to get rid of this working-parent guilt.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Being an entrepreneur and a parent can become a tough balancing act at times. In this situation, do not hesitate to ask for help, from colleagues, family or friends, or even your spouse. Remember that it is okay for you to ask them to pitch in at times.
- Don’t multi-task when you are with your children.
It is not the quantity of time that you spend with your children that really matters, but the quality of it. Ensure that whenever you have free time on hand, you spend it with your children, and do your best at it. Do not multi-task when you are with your children. Give them your complete attention. Resist the temptation to reply to a call or SMS or write an e-mail during your family bonding time. Make your family feel like you truly value them, and not like they come second to your business.
- Don’t get influenced by the society’s childcare norms.
It is all too easy to feel pangs of working-parent guilt when someone tells you how much time they are spending with their son/daughter, or when they point fingers of blame at you. Learn not to get overly influenced by the society’s norms relating to childcare. What works for you might not necessarily work for you and your children.
- Use business down time as family time.
There might be periods in your business when things move slow, and you are not in as much of a rush to get tasks completed. You should consider spending more time with your family during such down time.
- Be flexible.
Learn to be flexible in dealing with your work. You do not need to be at your office 24/7 or be constantly glued to your cellphone or computer. Occasionally, consider working from home or coming home early from work, so that you get to spend more time with your children.
- Build your schedule around your children’s routines.
As far as possible, try to build your work schedule keeping in mind your children’s routines. Try to get a major chunk of your work completed when they are in school or involved in independent activities. It would be great if you could work during these times, and then be at home to spend time with your children.
- Involve your children in your business.
Try to involve your children in your business as far as possible. Talk to them about your work and colleagues. Take them for business get-togethers and events. Visit the homes of your colleagues with your family. This way, your family will also feel a connect with your business and know what exactly you do at office.
- Avoid distractions at work.
Distractions like social media, mindless internet surfing and randomly talking to colleagues takes away from valuable work time. Try to avoid such distractions as much as possible. This will enable you to finish work on time, so that you can leave office early. Not staying in office long hours means more time spent with family and less parental guilt, ultimately.
- Realise that you are doing your best.
Understand that you are doing your best to balance both your business and your family. You don’t need to be present for every meeting or event, just as you don’t have to be present for each football match or performance by your son/daughter. Give optimum value to both these aspects of your life, and shed the guilt.