Best tips from our readers on how to balance life as a working parent

In a recent article, we talked about working parents, their increased productivity and their great skills when it comes to time management and organisation. We also reached out to our working-parent readers and asked them to share with us some of their tips for successfully balancing work and family. 

We share 9 of our favourite readers’ tips for parents looking to squeeze more quality family time into their busy working lives:

  1. Plan your meals a week or fortnight in advance. Let everyone choose at least one favourite meal and don’t forget to freeze the leftovers (if any) for lunches.
  2. If you can, change your work schedule to suit your family’s needs – work from home, part-time or at different hours, such as from 10 to 6 or 8 to 4, instead of the regular 9 to 5 – this could buy you more time for the morning or evening routines.
  3. Create a budget and try your best stick to it. Make sure you only buy what you need, have your bills paid automatically, and put a little put aside for emergencies. Not having to worry about money, takes the pressure off you (and the family) so you can be happier and more productive.
  4. Ask the kids for help:
    • Assign chores to older kids who have a later bedtime (with or without pocket money – up to you).
    • Cook with your kids to help you out – it’s a chance to laugh, bond and teach them a valuable life skill!
  5. Have ‘an hour of power’ (or shorter) where everyone has a different task to do to clean the house.
    • Rotate the tasks and encourage everyone to keep their own space tidy to reduce the clean-up.
    • Multi-task - if you’re watching TV on the couch, why not fold up the washing to save time doing it later? 
  6. Clean as you go or leave a room better than the way you found it – it’s far easier to take care of small messes than it is to do a major clean up.
  7. If you travel by public transport, use your mobile and remote access to check work emails and review documents in transit. That way when you get home it’s strictly family time. 
  8. Timing is everything - especially when you’re a busy family. Schedule activities like your baby’s nap with your toddler’s TV time to give you that much needed window to get things done.
  9. When all else fails, outsource
    • Paid outsourcing - if you can afford it, there are times when it makes more sense to pay someone to do a chore than to do it yourself.
    • Unpaid outsourcing - if you can’t spare the cash, ask grandparents, relatives or neighbours if they can help – often you can simply return the favour.

Like to know more?

If you would like to learn about how to juggle family life while you’re working, read our education modules on starting a family or managing your family finances.

Or call us on 131 267 to find out about how financial advice could help you.

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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.