Discover how to reclaim your time as a working parent

By Emma Victoria Stokes,
updated on Jun 12, 2024

Discover how to reclaim your time as a working parent

Juggling work and childcare can seem like an impossible task. Follow these tips for finding moments for yourself

We all have moments where everything feels overwhelming. Particularly when it comes to balancing our working and personal lives. Tackling all of this while also raising children can make it feel impossible.

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone – in fact, according to the Office for National Statistics, 50.4% of working families have both parents employed full-time – and there are always things you can do to make life that tiny bit easier. As parents, we understand that every single minute is precious, so we’ve curated some tips to help you strike a balance.

Dedicate small moments for yourself, every single day.

Regardless of how short the slot between work and family responsibilities might be, it’s important to set aside time each day, exclusively for you. Whether it’s in the quiet moments after the kids are asleep, or the peaceful early hours before the household wakes up and you begin getting ready for work and school, make sure there are non-negotiable moments of rest.

This could mean indulging in a few uninterrupted pages of your favourite book or magazine, pampering yourself with a relaxing bath, or doing some gentle yoga stretches. The art of slowing down means different things to different people. Remember that you are deserving of this self-care.

Taking time for yourself each day will undeniably make a huge difference to your overall energy levels and wellbeing, and this isn’t something that should ever be compromised.

Lean on your support system.

It’s easier said than done, but sharing the daily load can drastically reduce the stress that comes with being a working parent. It’s common to feel overwhelmed by all the tasks you need to do throughout the working day, and then the second round back home with the kids. If possible, engage in open conversations with your partner, family, and even friends who can support you.

Put in place small systems for managing household chores, grocery shopping, and any urgent admin tasks, so you have the capacity to prioritise things you have to get done. Consider involving your family by assigning age-appropriate responsibilities, such as tidying their own rooms and doing the washing up. Not only does this create a sense of teamwork, but it also gives you the freedom to prioritise other meaningful activities around the home.


Set clear boundaries.

As a working parent, it is crucial to focus your time and energy on what really matters so that you are able to be your best self at work and with your family. Saying ‘yes’ to every birthday party and activity will likely cause burnout, so saying ‘no’ to commitments that do not align with your priorities can be extremely liberating. This also goes for work life, by ensuring that when you’re off the clock, you’re off the clock. That means logging off on time, setting clear time expectations, and vocalising if the workload is becoming unmanageable in your allocated work hours.

By setting firm boundaries, respecting your time, and being selective about the responsibilities and activities you take on, you are creating room for the things that bring you peace and fulfilment.

Make use of your weekends and annual leave.

Annual leave and weekends are there for a reason, so why not take some time to intentionally plan activities that recharge and rejuvenate you? You may wish to make these solo days in order to fully recoup, or you can intentionally plan family days that are centred around rejuvenation, such as long refreshing countryside walks together, or something as simple as cosy movie nights. Being intentional with your time off can have a positive impact on those around you, so be sure to make these conscious choices that will not only allow you to show up, but means you can be present for your children and family in the most fulfilling way.

Establish technology-free zones.

Having screen breaks and removing the need for phones in certain areas of the house can be a game-changer. In setting up spaces and rules where technology is not welcome – for example, no phones at the dinner table or after 9pm – you will begin to create opportunities for genuine connections and quality time instead of being distracted. It can also help you set boundaries around work, by being unavailable for out-of-hours work calls or emails during family time. Not only are you setting an example of tech management to your children, but it can also significantly reduce your stress levels before bedtime.


Explore parenting support groups.

When juggling your responsibilities, it can be helpful to connect with other working parents who are going through similar experiences. Exploring parenting groups, both in person and online, can provide great opportunities to join a community of individuals who also understand the unique challenges and demands of balancing free time, work, and family life. Sharing experiences, exchanging tips, and seeking guidance from others in the same situation, can be incredibly comforting and can also provide valuable insights. You can learn a lot from each other’s successes and find encouragement in knowing you’re not alone on this journey.

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