By Anne Ueberbach
Assistant Director/Registered Counsellor
60% of families in Singapore are dual income families, meaning both partners work full-time. But how does that leave time for household chores and family time? Here are some useful tips on how to successfully balance parenthood and your career without losing track of your sense of self:
Once we are parents we are riddled with guilt over leaving our children behind multiple hours a day. Part of us believes that we should be some type of super parent, who can spend 24h with their children, while managing a household and working full-time, which is an unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves. The so called “super parent” simply doesn’t exist. Instead, we should aim to be the “good enough parent”, who acknowledges the importance of not being perfect but still trying their best whenever possible.
As parents, our to-do list seems to never end. However, can we really do a deep clean after work at 8pm, while also preparing dinner, putting the children to bed, doing some extra urgent work and find time to wind down before bed? The answer is no! Instead of trying to take on our whole to-do list every day, focus on what’s achievable today only. It’s okay if the house looks a little messy or if the laundry hasn’t been folded if that means spending an hour after work bonding with our children and taking time to read out favorite book.
While at work, try your best to limit any unnecessary distractions, including non-urgent calls / text messages from home. We should also set realistic goals for every day and prioritize our tasks to gain a sense of achievement at the end of every work day. Remember, quality over quantity.
Plan your family and work time ahead so you can start each day with a clear road map. Just like we use work calendars to keep track of meetings and deadlines, we can also use a family calendar to do the same. This will make sure everyone in the family knows what’s happening on which day and it gives them something to look forward to. You can also pre-plan meals, or even meal prep, to save time after work
Avoid trying to take on all family related tasks yourself, and instead share the workload with your partner whenever possible. It won’t always be a 50/50 split, but knowing you don’t have to do it all by yourself already makes a huge difference
“It takes a village to raise children”, so make sure to lean on your support network (grandparents, siblings, friends, etc.) for when extra help is needed
Engaging in self-care is probably the most important strategy when managing a busy life. Make sure to take time for yourself whenever needed to allow yourself to reset mentally, to get enough sleep and to engage in activities you enjoy. This also means not skipping lunch at work to get more tasks done
If you ever feel that some extra help is needed, seek out a counsellor / psychologist to address your concerns at The Counselling Place.
The Counselling Place