Parenting is a full-time job. Teaching can also take up an enormous portion of your time. If you’re both teaching and operating as a full-time mom, it can be overwhelming, to say the least. Juggling work and home life while also taking care of yourself can be challenging!
There are many situations in which this combination can happen. You may be a teacher by profession who also has kids. You may also be a mom who has decided to pick up work as an educator to help with the recent spike in emergency distance education. You might even be homeschooling your kids while working from home.
Regardless of your situation, if you’re teaching and parenting, here are a few helpful tips to maintain that precious sense of balance in your life.
To Achieve Work-Life Balance, Start with Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are essential when you’re both teaching and parenting. The thing is, parenting involves so many teachable moments that it’s easy to blur the lines between the two activities.
However, if you’re trying to manage both teaching and child-rearing responsibilities, set clear boundaries to help structure your days and week. A few ways to consider:
- Set aside a space in your home where you can prep for classes or run virtual sessions undisturbed.
- Turn off your work notifications when you’re with your family and then focus on engaging and entertaining activities with your kids.
- Make sure that your loved ones know when you’re “on the clock,” and they shouldn’t be disturbing you.
- Create a dedicated time as a family when technology is turned off for meaningful activities and conversations.
- Build routines that support efficiency, connection, and ease.
By creating healthy boundaries, you ensure that you can give your full attention to each area of your life when the time comes.
Lean on Schedules, Routines, and To-Do Lists
Schedules are helpful. Routines can build and support momentum. To-do lists are critical for organization, especially when you reserve time in your schedule for the completion of tasks. When you combine schedules, routines, and lists together, though, it can have a synergistic effect.
Start by creating a general to-do list with all of your responsibilities. Next, map out the routines that will be best for you and your family.
From there, find a good calendar app that you can use to keep track of your commitments. Everything from teaching in your kids’ classes to family date nights should be faithfully included for everyone’s benefit. Try to choose an app that you can share with your family members, as well. Letting them in on the planning can help them have empathy toward your demanding lifestyle.
Once you have a good schedule in place, take your routines and to-do list and work them into your schedule. Make sure you do all of these steps together. That way, you know you’ll have time to get everything done.
Related reading: “Why Work-Life Balance Isn’t the Best Solution.”
Utilize Helpful Technologies to Lighten Your Load
Tech is helpful and can be a huge time saver for both parents and teachers.
Using tech in the classroom can be extremely effective. Technology apps and platforms can enhance the learning experience from aiding with memory work to helping with communication. Utilizing tech in school can enhance the school experience and take a little bit of the work off of your own plate in the process. In addition, assistive technology has had a powerful impact on helping children with disabilities as they learn.
On the other hand, tech is also a lifesaver for a parent burning the candle at both ends. Now, let’s be clear, we’re not recommending using technology as a “babysitter” or something that your kids can use unrestricted day and night. However, an educational app or show is a great way to reward your kids for getting their school work done ...and also buy yourself a few precious moments to regroup or for that desperately needed self-care as a parent.
At this point, you have worked on establishing healthy boundaries. You have routines and to-do lists created and worked into your schedule. You also have considered areas where technology can support your lifestyle, both professionally and personally.
The last step is to keep moving and growing. Life doesn’t rest, and when it comes to maintaining balance, you shouldn’t stop moving forward and becoming the best version of yourself as a teacher and a mother. The truth is, as seasons change, children grow, and professional responsibilities evolve, you’re going to need to tweak things—and that’s perfectly okay.
The problem is, it’s all too easy to get stuck in a rut and lose your rhythm and the ability to grow along with everything else. You may be humming along with a well-balanced life now, but if you let routines turn into ruts, you’re going to start feeling the pressure build again before long.
Instead, take thought for tomorrow today. How can you adapt to future schedule changes that involve your kid’s classes, your children's emotional development, or life on the home front? Should you be preparing for the next step in your teaching career, like going back to school for a BA in Human Development and Family Studies, or are you thinking of homeschooling your children for the first time?
If you can regularly think of the future, it can help you be resilient and stay flexible—ready to adapt to whatever changes come your way.
Keep Your Life Balanced
There are lots of demands that come with both parenthood and teaching. You mustn’t let either responsibility slip under the radar.
So, take the time now to regain control of your hectic schedule. Take the two halves of your life and rectify them using boundaries, to-do lists, a growth mindset, and the other tools listed above. If you can do that, you can take the busyness of a professional parent lifestyle and turn it into a productive, rewarding experience for you, your children, and your students.
Heartmanity is here to help! Check out our parenting favorites for immediate insights and tools. Or reach out to us for tailored support at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you build parenting skills for greater ease and success that empower you.