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Be proud to be a working parent

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You should be proud to be a working parent right? It’s not always so easy…

I spotted the bullies across the playground, but it was too late – they were huddled around the school gate, and there was no escape. I’d have to walk straight through the middle of their gang, and I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. I put my head down and tried to ignore the inevitable jeers.

The ringleader was first to spot me and she moved to block my path. She said something, and the others laughed as my face turned red. Her insults and cruel words stayed with me all the way home, and as I arrived through the door, I collapsed in a heap of tears. It was there that my mother found me, sobbing and juddering, and, as expected, she was outraged by my tales of schoolyard bullying.

Be proud to be a working parent

Snide remarks

This isn’t a flashback to my childhood – it happened fairly recently, and the snide comments were made by a tactless mother at the school gate. Like thousands of others, I’m a working mum, and I have no choice but to go out and do the 9 to 5 grind. I have to put my daughter in childcare most days, and although it’s not ideal, I’m proud to be a working parent. But it seems that others are less impressed with my achievements.

Toughen up

If you plan to be a working mother, you will need to thicken up your skin, especially any time you mention it to a darling, doting, stay-at-home mummy. Responses range from a subtle arched eyebrow of disdain, to the full-on, ‘but how could you neglect your little one at such a tender age – these formative years are when she needs her mother the most?’

And it’s not just other parents. Even teachers can make tactless and disdainful comments. Last week, there was a pile up on the motorway, which inevitably caused me to be late for picking my child up from after-school club. The teacher in question casually mentioned that ‘perhaps I should consider getting a job closer to home if getting to the school gate on time was going to be such a problem.’ The CHEEK.

Your kids are proud of you

Anyway, if you’re a working parent, it’s nothing to be ashamed of: after all, we do TWICE the work of a stay-at-home mum, and although we don’t wear a cape, we’re still super parents, so keep up the good work and do whatever is best for your family.

Better still, a new survey has revealed that children are PROUD of their working parents. The research, which is published by JobCentre Plus, surveyed 500 primary school children. They were asked how they felt about their parents working, and an impressive 46% said they liked their mum and dad going to work. Only 15% said they didn’t like their parents going to work, and an impressive 31% said their working parents made them feel proud. And guess what? The survey revealed that working parents are still able to find successful ways to spend quality time with their kids. Four in 10 children (37%) said their parents still made time for them, despite working hard.

Tax breaks on offer

Of course, going back to work can be a terribly difficult decision to make, but it’s reassuring to know that your local JobCentre can give tailored advice for your individual circumstances. It’s even more reassuring to know that 55% of children know precisely why their parents must work – it’s because they need the money. Older children are the ones who admire their parents’ efforts most, with those between 9-11 years old being most proud of their working parents.

And here’s the very best news – as of January 2013, working parents are to get a £2000 boost towards childcare, along with tax breaks offered to families with children under five years old.

Be proud to be a working parent

Here are a few tips for keeping all those balls in the air:

Prioritise

Undoubtedly, being a working parent requires serious juggling skills that would put Coco the Clown to shame. It helps to keep your priorities straight – download a free productivity app onto your phone to help you keep track of what needs doing. It’s easy to forget to pack a PE kit, especially if you’re preparing for an important presentation the next morning.

Communication is key

This applies at work, and at home. Be open and upfront with your family and boss, and it will avoid unnecessary confusion, arguments, and misunderstandings.

Create a support network

You can’t be in all places at all times, so learn to rely more on trustworthy colleagues, friends, and relatives. Foster positive relationships, remember to say thank you, and don’t alienate yourself by gossiping. The odd thank you present such as a bottle of wine wouldn’t go amiss either – your parents-in-law may love to look after the kids now and then, but a thoughtful prezzie will grease those wheels no end.

Being a working parent is no bad thing– it’s not always ideal, but it’s often necessary. As long as you give it your best shot, there’s no reason why you can’t raise happy healthy kids, as you climb up that career ladder at the same time.

 

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2 Responses to “Be proud to be a working parent”

  1. mummyoftwo

    Each parent does the best they can. Some choose to work some have no choice. Some choose to stay at home some have no choice. Every parent should be proud regardless of their situation. As parents we should all support each other. I think its a bit strong and bashing to say a working parent does TWICE the work as a stay at home mum. There are pros and cons, easy bits, hard bits to all situations. Lets all be proud and do the best we can.

    Reply
  2. Kimberley Heaney

    This is such an encouraging post, it’s good to know that working parents aren’t extinct anymore. My only problem is I’ve had to take a job because I have to not because I want to, and it’s not a career it’s just a job. That makes it harder sometimes because you do question if it’s worth it….

    Reply

About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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