More and more families are now juggling kids, childcare and work. According to research, 57% of children live in a household where both parents go to work*.
If you’re a working parent you’ll be well aware of the struggles – high childcare costs, rushing around, working on no sleep and little time to do household chores.
We spoke to some working parents to find out how they manage to juggle children and work – and stay sane!
What childcare arrangements do you have in place?
Anna: My youngest is 3 and he does 2 days at nursery and 2 with his grandparents. My eldest is at school so no childcare needed as I manage to finish work in time to pick him up from school.
Natasha: We use a combination of breakfast and afterschool clubs for our 7 year old daughter as we both start work before school starts and finish later.
Simon: Our 2 year old is looked after by grandparents 3 days a week with my wife and I working from home between us to cover the remaining 2 days.
What are the biggest struggles of a working parent?
Lisa: Going to work after being up all night with the baby!
Dan: School holidays! We end up taking different days off and hardly seeing each other so that we can cover all the school holidays, inset days, etc.
Rachel: Not having enough time to do everything. You get up early to get the kids ready and to their childcare before rushing off to work, and then as soon as you get in from work is dinner, bath and bed. By the time the kids have gone to bed you’re too tired to do the housework, washing etc.
How do you manage to get everything else done?
Anna: I spend Saturday morning blitzing the house while the kids are lazing around watching TV and eating their breakfasts.
Lisa: Do a little bit of housework every evening rather than doing it all in one go.
Rachel: Online grocery shopping!
How do you find time to relax between work and family?
Dan: Beg someone to babysit!
Natasha: We take it in turns to get up with the kids on the weekend so the other one can have a lie in.
Simon: Have a night ‘off’ in the week, I play football one night and my wife goes to yoga on another night.
What tips do you have for other working parents trying to balance work and kids?
Rachel: See if your employer can offer flexi-time or the odd day working from home. It means that you won’t always have to rush to get out of the house early or get home late.
Anna: If you’re lucky enough to have family close by see if they can help out with picking the kids up from school or nursery occasionally or giving them dinner before you go to collect them.
Lisa: If you work part-time and can afford it, put the kids in childcare for a morning on your day off so that you can get all the chores done in peace. Then you can spend the rest of your “day off” or your weekends doing fun things.
Some great advice there from our working parent friends and followers.
What are your top tips for working parents? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us!
*Data taken from the ONS Labour Force Survey in 2016.