Working Parents & Coaching: My thoughts on getting a better work-life balance.

A mother and father playing with child in the park.

In a time when we are told we can have it all, we often think we should do it all. This is especially true for the working parents I encounter in my coaching practice.

Having it all, doesn't mean doing it all. Having it all requires a great skill in balance and priority setting. It requires the ability to shift between responsibility and not being responsible for everything.

I work day in and day out with aware and committed parents, who are also ambitious and career driven.

They not only have to make decisions that take into account their organisation, family, partners and themselves, they also often have to quickly prioritise one over the other on any given day or moment.

I have heard countless parents say things like "I feel trapped" or "I have no choice" or "this is just how it is" and I really do understand that this is how they feel in that moment, however I am also aware that there is always options and choice. I have seen how parents can work with the reality of what is in more effective ways.

Sometimes they are unclear and are hard decisions to make, however choosing priorities and focus has an amazing way of freeing us up.

Some of the biggest challenges they face are:

  • Time

  • Saying No

  • Setting boundaries with work and their children

  • Feeling like no matter what they give it isn't enough to either work or their children

  • Losing themselves in it all

Some of the key requirements to bring balance to a working parents life involves

  • Having a clear sense of their priorities & purpose in life

  • Clearer boundaries between work and their life

  • Working with values and awareness

  • Asking for and scheduling support in each part of your life

If guilt appears it is vital to look at it immediately from a logical standpoint and not to simply react to it.

  • What am I feeling guilty about?

  • Is it a reasonable expectation for me to have of myself? (Would I have it of others?)

This was the advice and thoughts that came from parents for parents in my facebook group:

"Learning to let my mood from work stay there and be at home when I am at home, not distracted." Some ideas that might help is turning phones off, practicing mindfulness, not checking emails and planning evenings you want to be home for.”

"I was too hard on myself ,trying to stretch myself too far , find a happy medium enjoy time off, make memories 👍"

"Being vulnerable in front of our children" This is key, if children don't witness an array of experiences at home they will not know what to do with them when they have that experience.”

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!