After the long summer holiday, many families begin to fall into a new normal with their routines. With many children across the East Midlands returning to school. But, what does this mean for working parents and are businesses able to support them in this transition?
We want to understand what children returning to school means, from a working parents’ point of view. So, we spoke to a few parents at Regional Recruitment Services to find out more about how they are coping with the return to school date swiftly approaching.
Q) How do you find working from home whilst your children are there?
Jouel: If I am being completely honest, having my kids at home while I’m working is an absolute nightmare. I hate working from home. Home to me is home, and work is work. Yes, I bring work home within my job. But, working from home is not the same as working in the office. Throw two children into that mix, and it’s crazy. You have to juggle calls/emails between having a quick game, sorting food and keeping them entertained.
When working at home with your children, who will be asking for your attention, you might ask yourself; “how am I supposed to handle all this?”
We believe that every working parent has a unique way to balance work and parenting. One of the possible methods that you might use is effective time management. A few steps that you can implement to boost your time management are:
- Create a to-do list and prioritise things
- Make extra time in between your tasks, as you never know what can happen
- Remember to take breaks and moments for self-care
No matter the number of tasks you have on your list, it’s still better to focus on what you have accomplished rather than how many items are left!
Q) How have you prepared for your children returning to school?
Jouel: I am happy for both children returning to primary school and my older son, who does not live with me, to return to secondary school. For many reasons a school is an important place, but the main function is to learn and develop. After a mental year or so, along with the summer holidays, I feel it is now a perfect time to start fresh and begin the process of returning to normality. Regarding preparation, this comes down to creating routines such as going to bed early, waking up on time, sorting breakfast, and getting the kids ready for the day before starting my own day to go to work. Schools reopening is a new start for both kids and parents, on top of the physical preparation, including packing your children’s schoolbag and purchasing new uniforms. You need to prepare for the psychological changes that occur.
The return to school is a lot to take in and digest in a short period of time. But, as parents, you must help them adapt and succeed with the new studying and working regime. Here are some points to support you with this:
- Consider how changes to the school routine and working life will affect your kids.
- Start talking to your children sooner rather than later.
- Communicating in their preferred way about their worries, expectations and goals.
- Make yourself readily available to support and address their worries/concerns about returning to school
- Work with your employer to get their support in helping you to adjust to the new routine
Q: How do your kids returning to school impact your work life?
Carla: When my children were young, I always worked part-time, which gave me a lot more flexibility to be able to support them and be involved with all aspects of their social and activity schedules. As they are older now, this isn’t the case.
For many working parents, employers that offer a hybrid working model can be beneficial.
However, hybrid working isn’t always an option for some employers or parents. So, some businesses might offer flexible working hours instead. Others might even provide part-time roles.
All these options impact the rhythm of your working life. Furthermore, not having the option that works for you might influence your decision on continuing your employment with them. In these instances, you might want to start looking for new opportunities that better suit your routine.
Q) What is your greatest challenge as a working parent?
Carla: Not taking my work home, this doesn’t always mean physically, as the mental switch off is critical to support a healthy work-life balance. It’s important to me that I am present with my children, and a brain full of work, deadlines, and tasks are not supportive of this. I also don’t want my children to be affected by a bad day at the office -switch off and start the day new
Khat: A: If you get stuck with them on your leg whilst they are young, swap the narrative and stick to their legs when they get older. You can even get them on an apprenticeship so they can work with you- as I did with my children.
As working parents, you will face a range of obstacles along the way. Whether it’s working from home whilst your children are with you, unintentionally bringing work issues home or not being present in critical moments.
You may not be able to tackle these challenges as quickly as you want, due to external factors that add pressure to your work-home life. However, if you are struggling to balance this aspect, speak with your employer!
Try to provide a few options that you believe would assist your work-life balance (this will help you negotiate the best option for you). Then you can agree with what works for both you and the business requirements. Having this level of open communication is the best way to resolve these problems if you encounter them!
There are many challenges that you might encounter whilst your children are returning to school.
Your work-life balance shouldn’t be one that you have to tackle constantly.
However, finding a new role that will work to your requirements is demanding. That’s why we are here to guide you. It does not matter if you are looking for a permanent, temporary or contract role; we are here to bridge you to the best opportunity available. Please view our current roles today or contact our team to discuss your job requirements in more detail.