Single Parenting: Juggling Your Career with Kids

Last time that we talked about single parenting, we discussed how you can land your ideal job. But once there, how can you keep that job when you're the sole provider for your lovely but needy children? As we continue on in our Single Parenting Series, let's now take a look at some ways you can juggle a career with kids as a single parent.

Organize Your Life (and Theirs!)

As a single parent, you obviously have many responsibilities. There are your kids, of course, who can need you at any time of day for anything from illness to homework to emotional support. When you're the only one providing all of this support, it can make every other aspect of life (like work, home management and social obligations) more difficult. So what's a parent to do? Let's look at a few ways to organize your life and your kids' lives:

  • Make a Family Calendar: First, making a calendar can help everyone stay on the same page on any day of the week.
  • Make a Daily Schedule: Next, a daily schedule can help you and the kids be where you need to be, when you need to be there.
  • Make a Chore Chart: One of the best ways to organize a busy household is to make a chore chart. Listing the chores expected of each child can help you both come to an understanding of everyone's responsibilities, which means that you can finally get help with household tasks.
  • Send Them Reminders: Depending on the technology used in your house, you may be able to set up electronic reminders for the most important parts of your kids' days, like putting the casserole in the oven at four or meeting up at the soccer field later.

Beyond Day-to-Day Life

Although getting daily life under control is a huge burden off your shoulders, every parent knows that emergencies pop up. There are sick days. There are school cancellation days. There are days when your two-year old will have a mega-meltdown at daycare that only you can cure. What do you do when both your job and your kids depend upon you in equally urgent ways?

Well, when push comes to shove, being able to depend on someone else – anyone else – is crucial. If there is anyone who can, let's say, help pick up sick kids on your very-important-make-or-break-your-career meeting day, hook up with them as soon as possible. This could be your parents, your brother, your best friend, a babysitter, another mom...it could essentially be anyone you trust completely to provide a helping hand.

Single parenting is never easy, but there are a few ways to make life run more smoothly without endangering your much-needed career. Thankfully, mastering some organizational skills and finding backup can help you tackle the career/family challenges!

Readers, how about you; single parent or not, how do you tackle the juggling act of career and family needs?

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