Balance, in general, can be tricky. However, balancing a leadership role while parenting a young child can sometimes be downright impossible. You know what they say about the impossible, though, right? It has “I’m possible” right in the word.
Being a parent is a full-time job on its own, and being a leader in your career can feel like another full-time job. So how do you balance both and maintain your sanity? Here are a few tips:
Prioritize and Delegate
As a leader, it’s important to prioritize tasks and delegate responsibilities to your team. If you can’t, you’ll not only be stuck always doing the work, but you’re also severely limiting your team members’ ability to learn and grow in their careers.
The whole purpose of being a leader is to lead others toward success.
The same applies to parenting. Prioritize what needs to be done and delegate tasks to your partner or other family members if possible. A partner is just that, a partner. It’s okay to ask for that help and allow others to step in.
Children also need responsibilities even while they are young. How else will they be prepared for adulthood? This will help you focus on the most important things in both areas of your life and relieve some of the stress.
Setting boundaries and communicating your needs to your team and family is essential. Let them know when you’re available and when you need to focus on your family. For example, saying no to work events or meetings is okay if they conflict with your parenting responsibilities.
It’s okay to take a break from parenting duties to focus on work if needed.
Setting clear boundaries will help you feel in control of both aspects of your life. If you can’t make that 8 pm dinner meeting because your child has a ball game, that’s okay.
Likewise, it’s okay if you can’t make that cookie bake-off at the school because you have important work meetings to attend.
Don’t let any “Karen” tell you otherwise.
Your organization is critical to balancing a leadership role and parenting. Use a calendar to keep track of important dates and deadlines for work and your child’s activities.
I recommend having a shared calendar that allows you to see your work and personal events in one location. This will help you from overbooking yourself and let others see your true “availability.”
Prepare meals and snacks in advance to save time during busy weekdays. Make to-do lists to help you stay on top of work and parenting tasks.
However, don’t feel like you have to be Betty Crocker.
Organizing quick meals that allow you to put home-cooked food on the table in 30 minutes or less is okay. I enjoy looking for new and quick recipes.
When you’re at work, be present at work. When you’re with your child, be present with your child.
Try to separate work and parenting as much as possible and focus on the task. This will help you feel more fulfilled in both areas of your life.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I set aside family time from dinner to bedtime. Then after the kids are in bed, I take some extra time to follow up on work items to ensure any priorities are handled and my following day is set up correctly.
Take Care of Yourself
Remember to take care of yourself. Self-care is essential for maintaining balance in your life. Take breaks when needed, exercise regularly, eat healthily, and get enough sleep. You can’t be a good leader or parent if you’re not taking care of yourself first.
This doesn’t mean you have to go to the spa every week, but something as simple as a 20-minute yoga flow in the morning or a 15 walk on your lunch break can help provide the extra energy you need to get through the day.
Balancing a leadership role and parenting a young child is not easy, but it’s possible.
With the right mindset and a few practical tips, you can successfully manage both and thrive in your personal and professional life.
Last modified: March 7, 2023