Are you a new parent getting back into your career post child? Is it hard to find a place that you can go for a few hours or a day while your child is being taken care of at a daycare? Few offices allow you yo bring your kids at work. But you are not alone! In an interesting article published by The Atlantic, titled “Why Does the School Day End Two Hours Before the Workday?”, it tackles a very important topic that many parents face; how to manage “traditional” 9-5 working hours while juggling children in school or daycare.
Our fellow mommy Twostayer, Amie McCracken, states her #1 tip is to avoid the temptation to multi-tasking: “Designate specific time for parenting, for work, for relationships. Just like in work life where you would block out time for a meeting, or answering emails, or a specific project. You have to create that balance in life so that your mind is not elsewhere and you’re only doing half of each job.” The key to success is in the balance where you find time for everything while not doing anything only half way as good as you would otherwise.
Below are the 4 tips to make the transition into work-life after parenthood just a little bit easier!
1) EMBRACE FLEXIBILITY
The first and MOST important tip is being OKAY with the flexibility that you may (or may not) find yourself suddenly having. Even traditional companies started offering more flexible working hours and paid parental leave to help accommodate working parents, but for those that are freelancers, self-employed, or starting their own business, there may be more of a grey area. Some may find it harder to feel a sense of community after having being out of their industries for so long or are simply struggling to embrace the flexibility that this new life demands.
With over 3 MILLION! people choosing co-working spaces throughout the world, it was important for Twostay to include packages that specifically tackle the issue; making sure the mommies and daddies that work in these places can, not only afford their co-working space, but also invest their money in the time they are actually using working at their preferred space.
Being able to come in for a 4-hour (half-day or a day) period whenever it is convenient for you helps with those who are on an unconventional schedule; those who need their flexibility to juggle other aspects of their life, be it professional or personal. The non-commitment plans allow you to choose one that works for your individual day, rather than spending extra on the days you know you can’t make it into one of the spaces. Even better, all plans are pausable; meaning that if you buy a month pass and have to travel or simply can’t come in, the extra days on your plan are not lost!
Even if you are not a freelancer or self-employed, it is important to know what working options you have in terms of both full and part-time opportunities. Try talking to your HR department to see if you can balance your schedule by working between your home and the office. Make sure you are using the advantages that your corporate culture embraces; are you fully aware of all the compensation you are entitled to in terms of both time and monetary compensation?
2) FIND A CHILDCARE CLOSE TO YOUR PLACE OF WORK
“The most important is flexibility, for work hours, in order to fit the Kita (Kindergarten) needs. But you have to work full-time to get a placement of more than 9 hours in the Kita, meaning that if you are self-employed you may have some difficulties.” Arthur Mulle, another one of our fellow Twostay parents, discusses the aspects to consider in terms of childcare and work.
Kitas in Germany take the enrollment of children on a case-by-case basis, and sometimes, freelancer parents are not the highest on the enrollment priority list since they are thought to have more time and flexibility. Both parents of the child must be working full-time in order to have their child enrolled for a 9-hour Kita day, meaning that alternative options, such as Tagesmutter, are resorted to in such situations.
“What if I had gone to work knowing she was next door, that she was socializing, that she was fed, that she was surrounded by festive painted walls? And crucially, that I could afford it.”
If your work isn’t near your child’s daycare, or vise-versa, you may want to check if you could relocate your child to a different daycare. Transportation times are so high during rush hours that the benefits of having your child near your place of work is guaranteed to save you so much time, considering this is an option to begin with.
Below some kitas (kindergartens) we found in Munich that may help you out in your choice.
WeltEntdeckern Luisenstraße 41/RGB, 80333 Munich
die Seepferdchen Kinderkrippe l19: Lothstraße 19, 80797 Munich
3) FIND A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
Last but definitely not least, having a supportive community is crucial in both the professional sense as much as it is the personal sense. Coworking communities are full of working parents that understand how much effort it can be balancing both. But being a part of such a community can make the transition smoother and make you feel not so alone in the process.
Being a part of a coworking community is also an amazing way to network on an informal and daily basis. Through (almost) daily community events, you get to know your “coworkers” on a personal level.
Finally, don’t forget that you can find an incredible amount of information and tips online to help you with the transition you are about to make. Just a quick Google search can give you informative infographics and tips from people that are in your same situation and have written tips for you to manage it easier!
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