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10 Things Only Working Parents Would Understand

10 Things Only Working Parents Would Understand
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Becoming a working parent is no easy thing – far from it. Choosing to have a child and balance a day-to-day job can be a stressful, demanding, exhausting way to live your life, and it can equally be a thrilling, enjoyable, and wonderful way to balance out your desire for a family with your need to advance and continue your career.

So if you’ve just become a working parent, are considering becoming one in the future, or know all too well the experiences that being a working parent entails, then check this list out!

1. You schedule absolutely everything.

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    One of the most important things you realise when you become a working parent is that you need to schedule everything. You’re not just dealing with your own schedule or both you and your partner’s – you’re dealing with another person’s, someone who doesn’t need to go to work or maybe even to school yet, but who needs your loving attention most hours of the day.

    Therefore, scheduling is key. You learn that sitting down one night to actually go through the next few weeks is incredibly helpful, as it allows you to juggle your career with downtime as well as making sure the child’s needs are well met and that someone familiar is always there. You learn that it’s not easy, but in the end it is worth it, despite the sleepless nights and potentially endless spreadsheet/timesheet making.

    2. Your sleep is a precious thing.

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      When you becoming a working parent, you learn that your sleep becomes even more of a precious, guarded commodity. Yes, sleep is a vital need at every stage of your life, but the pleasure of sleep is never quite so enhanced by the act of becoming a parent, particularly a working one at that.

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      You find yourself rejoicing at early bedtimes and praying that your child sleeps through the night, to give you a few blissful hours of uninterrupted, restorative dreamtime. The idea of sleeping in, or even better, having someone take your child for the night, is an oasis of delight you cling to desperately. Yes, adults are supposed to need a full seven to nine hours, but as a working parent with no time to nap during the day, you’ve learned that four is just about survivability, if not at all pleasant.

      3. Your guilt levels – occasionally – skyrocket.

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        We live in a culture of dichotomy – we’re expected to be perfect and perfectly balanced at all times. You can’t stay at home all day, but then you can’t be wholly committed to your work, even though, in a strange way you’re expected to be both. Therefore, with all the pressures of society bearing down on your as a fresh working parent, it’s not unexpected that there are times when you feel guilty.

        Some people will say that they ‘don’t know how you could leave your child at home’ with someone else, even if that someone else is a trusted family member or loved one, and even though you might have been expecting this, it can still hit hard and painful. Still, you know better than anyone that being a working parent means being able to further your career and still be a parent, so while this wave of guilt stings for a little while, it ebbs away and you get back to rocking your own personal balance, not society’s idealised one.

        4. Your family time becomes preciously guarded.

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          When you become a working parent, your actual family time really does diminish in the face of… well, everyday life, let’s be honest. When you’re not working or sleeping, there’s very little actually in the waking hours that you get to spend with your family, and it can be a real strain on your physical and mental health.

          Therefore, you start to guard your family time. Weekends become no-go zones for anything related to work, and even though you might be exhausted and crying out for a lie-in, you become more determined to do something with your children on that weekend, even if it’s something simple and enjoyable. Holidays too, become more protected, and you realise you would do anything to safeguard those few weeks free from work.

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          5. You start to develop stronger boundaries.

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            Before you had kids, you might have been fine dealing with multiple workloads and assignments, even if they extended out into the weekend or after hours. Sure, no problem, you can handle anything! However, as soon as you become a working parent, you’ll probably find yourself starting to develop a spine of steel when it comes to your working hours and leaving work very firmly at work.

            Yes, it might be a shock for your boss or superior at first, but developing tougher boundaries between the realms of work and life outside of it mean that you become mentally healthier and spend more time with your loved ones. Your boss will probably even develop a respect for you too for being able to let go and learn about your real and true priorities.

            6. You become a master at multitasking.

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              Multitasking has become a little bit of a strange thing in recent years – scientists tell us that it’s impossible, and yet so much of our day to day lives depend upon being to juggle a lot of things at the same time, and being able to wear a lot of different hats (figuratively, of course) at the same time. When you become a working parent, the problem merely exacerbates.

              However, you soon learn that rapidly switching your attention is a trick that can be learned and which soon becomes effortless after repeated practice. Mentally going over shopping lists and grocery runs while rocking the little one to sleep? No problem. Balancing a checkbook while reading a bedtime story and going over dinner plans with a loved one? You’ve got it. You learn about the art of juggling and become an expert at handling everything life throws at you.

              7. You become great at asking for help.

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                Admittedly, a lot of us have trouble in asking for help. We believe we can handle everything perfectly and efficiently, without any need of external support. However, when you become a working parent, that isn’t true. Well for most of us anwyay. You learn that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness at all – in fact, it’s the strongest people who do it.

                You begin to learn to rope in available family members for babysitting shifts whenever possible, and even begin to outsource some of your pressing tasks and mundane activities to loved ones. They’ll most likely to happy to do their fair share, leaving you time to sort out your life and spend solid time with the people you love the most. Win-win situation, right?

                8. You realise how important ‘me time’ actually is.

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                  Strangely enough, one of the most common things that working parents have learned throughout becoming parents at work, is that the need for downtime and ‘me time’ is much more of a pressing, almost daily need. You might not have noticed it before, given that after work, all of your other time was usually ‘me time’, but now you’re a working parent, you realise how important it is.

                  It’s not selfish to want it, either. Recharging your body and mind, even for half an hour a day, can be a buoying experience, allowing you to separate yourself from the responsibilities of home and work alike, and allowing you to simply be. You learn that carving out time for yourself is a necessity for undoing the pressures of stress, and it’s something you crave and fight for dearly – especially when someone’s parents say that they will take your child for the night…

                  9. You begin to identify with your parents so much more.

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                    This one isn’t to say that you didn’t identify with your parents before – of course you’re likely to have done so at one point or another – but when you become a working parent, it’s so much more likely that you begin to strongly understand and identify with everything your parents had to go through when you were a small child or a newborn.

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                    You begin to identify with the late nights, the juggling of workloads, and the constant battle to deal with everything that arises with a young child. You begin to discuss things with them – ideas, beliefs, techniques, of how to balance work and home, of how to get your child to sleep, how to look after them, even something as mundane as how best to change their nappy – and begin to understand and share the same experiences as they had, and as their own parents had. It can be a wonderful thing, even if it involves exhaustion and dirty nappies.

                    10. You realise everyone has their own opinion…

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                      Everyone has their opinion on how to raise a child, about every aspect of their lives, and when you become a working parent, these opinions only rise quicker to the surface. Every parent out there will have an opinion about how you are raising your child and the fact that you are continuing to work whilst raising a child.

                      The most important and valuable lesson you learn when you become a working parent, is simply that other peoples’ opinions don’t really matter. You know what’s best for your child, and if working whilst raising that child is what you need, then that’s absolutely fine and something you really should be doing. By all means listen to advice from loved ones, but don’t feel under obligation to take it. When you become a working parent, you learn that as long as you can do your own personal balance, then you’re already ahead.

                      What are your tips and experiences of being a working parent? Let us know in the comments below.

                      Featured photo credit: Young father and his baby via shutterstock.com

                      More by this author

                      Chris Haigh

                      Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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                      Last Updated on July 12, 2021

                      100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                      100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier
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                      Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

                      By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

                      Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

                      83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

                        84 write random letter

                          85 use a rubberband

                            86 dorm smell bad

                              87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

                                89 how to waterproof your shoes

                                  90 take a picture of the name card

                                    91 iron inside out

                                      92 old newspaper

                                        93 tumble try shoes

                                          keep a card like this

                                            SONY DSC

                                              94 soap bar

                                                95 make a hole

                                                  96 drop the battery

                                                    97 use a coozie

                                                      98 when taking a picture

                                                        use a clean dust pan

                                                          try a pants hanger

                                                            use your cellphone light

                                                              use a spring from an old pen

                                                                quick and easy iphone speaker

                                                                  user binder clips

                                                                    wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                                      put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                                        clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                                          use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                                            doritos are great for kindling

                                                                              use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                                                use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                                                  freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                                    use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                                      almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                                        sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                                          unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                                            cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                                              remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                                                turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                                                  for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                                    how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                                      tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                                        place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                                          ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                                            use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                                              take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                                                how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                                                  put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                                    How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                                      user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                                        good sandwich guide

                                                                                                                          turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                                            50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                                              the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                                                add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                                                  38

                                                                                                                                    hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                                      stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                                        the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                                          how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                                            the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                                              use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                                                to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                                                  user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                                    a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                                      rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                                        use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                                          50

                                                                                                                                                            51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                                              52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                                                rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                                                  kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                                    use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                                      58

                                                                                                                                                                        59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                                          60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                                            hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                                              Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                                                hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                                                  use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                                    if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                                      keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                                        If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                                          drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                                            use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                                              use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                                                do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                                                  when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                                    dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                                      put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                        75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                                          use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                            pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                                              78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

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