As a working parent, reliable and capable help is one of those key factors to keeping all the plates spinning in the air. We all know that they are not as easy to come by and the balancing act involves a whole lot of flexibility.
Yes this is possible and I am grateful that the company that employs me has evolved with the changing workforce. Workplace flexibility is a win-win arrangement for both parties. It allows the parent to spend quality time both at work and at home. In fact, employees are way more efficient because they appreciate the understanding / flexibility from the company and time is really of the essence when you know you have to be with the kids at a certain time. Pronto.
It was very heart-breaking handing my children over to strangers, regardless of age. Mine were 9 months. Oh, the guilt surrounding this decision is simply awful. Nonetheless, we did it and our children continue to thrive in that environment.
Despite the stressors of being working parents, my husband and I are a great team. During the work week, he looks after their needs from the moment they wake (anytime between 5:30am – 6:30am) and drops them off at child care at 8:00am. I take over the afternoon from 3:30pm onwards; he is home by 5:30pm to do bath time with them while I sort our dinner before joining him and the kids for the second part of the bedtime routine. On the weekends, we relax-play-explore as a family and sometimes, each of us takes a child on a ‘date’. When they are unfit for childcare, one of us will take leave of absence from work to be home with one / both of them.
I live on the best street with the best mummy friends who understand and always render assistance in one form or other without being asked. They in turn nurture polite and helpful children who model the same behaviour. My mummy friends are my mentors and life savers on so many occasions. My children have grown up under their loving support and as such will go to them very willingly, which is a huge relief for me.