Starting a new career while the kids are still at home can be daunting. There are additional needs to juggle and you don’t have the flexibility to only think of yourself and how to shape your goals. Children are a responsibility that dictates everything while they live with you until they are grown. This means that if you want to go back to work or start a new career, there will be some limits as to what you can do and how you achieve it.
For advice and ideas about exploring career options while you parent full-time, keep reading.
Choose a job that suits your needs
The first thing to find is a job that suits your specific needs. Each family is different, and some career paths may be more accessible in single child families as opposed to sibling models.
Regardless of the number of children at home or their ages, there are options for parents to work if they want to. The biggest trick is to do the research and forge a path that works in sync with your family dynamic. For example:
- Freelance work from home in a creative industry or similar
- Online tutoring
- Starting your own business
- Delivery driver
- Exam marking
- Foster carer
- Teaching assistant/Classroom teacher
Becoming an advocate
Children in care often struggle to use their voices. They are in dire need of a strong advocate to help them reengage with essential educational avenues, social settings, and general life demands. This could be you. You already do this every day as a parent to your biological children, so the leap will be a natural one that only serves to boost your confidence in other areas as well.
Constant support channels
No other job in the world provides as much support for its employees as fostering. This includes a full training programme, online resources and a dedicated team of professionals. Constant support from social workers who are on call all hours of the day and the night means that, should a problem come up, someone will be there to guide you through it. If you ever need advice on something hard, there will be a channel of immediate access. You are closely monitored with the best intentions to keep everyone in the unit protected.
Fostering is a career. That means you receive remuneration for your role as a carer. While this is far from the only reason to sign up, if you are looking for a career path that generates income and fits around your family, fostering can provide that for you as well. Additionally, foster carers also receive a generous tax relief so it is likely that you will be able to retain most, if not all, of your fostering allowance payments.
Repurposing your experience and skill sets
Choosing a career that suits your skillset is not an option for everyone. As a parent, you have accumulated a wealth of skills that are highly transferable. Add this to your previous experience in the world, and the world of work, and you are a hybrid human that is capable of adapting to the roles that demand a little more from their people. You might find something you haven’t used in a while comes in handy.
Why fostering can be a rewarding career option for stay-at-home parents
What are the reasons, then, why fostering is a good career for stay-at-home parents? Well, there are a few that make the top of the list for your consideration.
Tips for managing kids around work
Whether you foster or choose something different, there is still the matter of juggling a demanding schedule. Managing your work life around your parenting commitments takes real planning and commitment, but it can be done.
Set a routine
Routine is the most important thing in this setting. Children thrive on routine, regardless of their makeup. There are lots of benefits here to be drawn upon and it will help you get into the habit of completing tasks that are required, minimising any unexpected surprises, and supporting everyone to have what they need as well.
Be open with your workplace
The days when mothers and fathers are penalised for prioritising their children are dwindling. If you are open with work about your commitments, and what you need as a parent in the business environment, a newfound trust and understanding will be found. You are more reliable as an honest person who leads with upfront affirmations than one constantly falling behind and is too scared to say why.
Accept the limitations
It is good to be conscious of and accept any limitations; because these will be unavoidable. Children need time, care, and attention. It is a challenge to balance this full time role with a career because there are so many factors to mitigate. If you go into the process with more realistic expectations about what’s to come, you will be better able to manage your time and demands. You might not be able to do an overnight work trip once a week, for example, but you could ensure you’re always there for any virtual meetings and calls.
Find a balance to support wellness for everyone
When a parent is stressed, it seeps into everything. It affects the well-being of every person in the family because how could it not? Stress is debilitating and it can impact children very negatively if left unchecked for a prolonged period. Finding a balance between working, parenting, and downtime is the only road to self-management that benefits all the members of the family.
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