Working outside the home and raising children at the same time can be a challenge, but there are ways to do both successfully, says computer programmer and productivity blogger L.J. Earnest.
1. Always have a plan B. Whether it’s for child care or your car pool, always have an alternative plan ready to keep a problem from turning into a disaster. One of the best parent secrets: Baby wipes can remove almost every fresh stain.
2. Schedule everything. Don’t keep your work and home calendars separate. Being able to view your entire day can help you create a strategy for getting it all done.
3. Don’t work during family time. Work when you’re at work. Be with your family when you’re at home. Live in the moment, and honor the time you have to spend with your family.
4. Be flexible. There will be days when everyone—your boss, your partner, your kids—wants a piece of you. When the tide turns and you have a lighter schedule, reward yourself with some me-time.
5. Don’t feel pressure to always rescue your kids. If your child forgets a homework assignment, make it clear that you can’t drop everything at work to save the day. Help your kids prepare for their day, but don’t be a backstop every time. This is how they learn to manage themselves.
6. Be creative. Apply your work skills to your home life. If you’re a strong delegator at the office, for example, look for ways to do the same at home. Machines, paid services and even your kids can help you get things done around the house the way your team does at the office.
— Adapted from “6 Habits of Successful Working Parents,” L.J. Earnest, Lifehack.