For the past decade, something that most parents have in common is that they are not as physically present for their children as they would like to be. With long working hours, onsite visits, chores, etc. it leaves parents with little or no time to spend quality time with their children- making them part-time parents.
This article is focused on the major concerns that working parents struggle with and potential ways to work around them.
- The need to be on the same team: One of the difficulties of being away from home most of the time is that you and your partner might differ in opinion and parenting styles. It is important for you and your spouse to plan and be on the same page. You might find yourself feeling left out or doubting your judgment. But that is only natural considering the difficulty of the situation. So, try to schedule time with your spouse to catch up on the latest events in your child's life and decide what the both of you as a team want to do about it.
- The transition from work to home: Parents often catch themselves still thinking of work or working even at home. Setting boundaries and prioritizing what is of importance might make the process easier. On most days you probably walk into the house to your child trying to get your attention in some way or the other. While this is great, it can also be a lot for you if you don’t get a break after work. So, take a couple of minutes after work in order to prepare yourself for your role as a parent. Unwind by indulging in an activity that calms you like getting a snack, having a hot shower, taking a walk or whatever else.
- Maintain daily contact: If you travel a lot or don’t live near your child it is important to keep in touch when he/she isn’t with you. Keeping in touch shows children that they are important to you. Be creative with this time, you could schedule video calls, send audio notes, etc. Getting details and having meaningful conversations will only help you feel more involved and a part of your child’s life.
- Be kind to yourself: You might find yourself doubting your decisions or making statements like- I’m not doing enough for my children, I should work full time and take care of the kids, etc. Accept that it hurts and that these moments are tough. Also, recognize that every other parent has felt the way that you are feeling now. Finally, take a few minutes to be compassionate towards yourself, remind yourself that you are doing whatever is in your control to do and are trying to take care of your child.
Very easily do we spill over into the monotony of life and get carried away by the routine. So, taking a step back to evaluate your responsibilities, expectations, parenting style, and your needs might prevent burnout.
Taibbi, R. (2019, April 3). Psychology today. Retrieved from www.psychologytoday.com: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/fixing-families/201904/the-challenges-being-part-time-parent