June 2, 2023


Balancing Work and Being a New Parent

By: Frances Floresca

Becoming a parent is a transformative experience that brings an abundance of love and joy, but it also requires you to become more responsible. It is a full-time commitment, in addition to demands of full-time employment for many parents.

Last December, my husband and I became first-time parents, and our little one has been an absolute blessing. Nonetheless, adjusting to our new roles hasn’t always been a smooth ride, especially when it came to navigating our schedules upon our return to work.

My husband and I have had to learn to prioritize in order to spend time with our child and effectively manage work responsibilities. 

The hours are long and stressful, but rewards are immeasurable. However, you can also feel guilt for not spending enough time with your children if you are busy with work, but you feel guilt for not getting work done if you spend too much time with them. 

Here is some advice on how to balance work and being a new parent from what my husband and I have learned so far: 

Establish boundaries with work and home life: This includes parents who work from home. If not required, do not work overtime or overwork yourself. Leave work at work, and home life at home. 

As a slowly recovering workaholic, I know firsthand how overworking yourself can negatively impact your life and relationships. Studies show that working overtime can lead to mental health issues, physical health problems, and even death. 

Find a family-friendly job: Many family-friendly workplaces now offer the option for hybrid work or working from home. Some even provide the flexibility to bring your child to the office on occasion. Hours tend to be flexible, and as long as you get work done, it enables you to spend more time with your family. 

If your family’s financial situation permits, freelancing can be a viable option to explore. Freelance work offers the advantage of setting your own hours, providing a greater degree of flexibility.  To start, you can use the skills you developed in the workplace to find work as a freelancer. Some freelance opportunities include coding, affiliate marketing, data entry, writing, social media and graphic design, and more. 

In certain cases, you can end up making more as a freelancer compared to a regular 9-to-5 job. 

Ask for help: If you have a significant other or if you are a single parent, it is okay to ask for help. Coworkers, family, friends, and other people in your community can assist you.

Asking for that help can also build relationships with those individuals. My husband and I have built stronger relationships with family, but we have also made new friends along the way, especially since we didn’t  have many friends when we first moved to our current location.

Take care of yourself: Self-care is extremely important. It is recommended that you work out, eat healthy, and meet with your healthcare provider. You can also talk with a mentor, such as a church leader or counselor. 

However, part of self-care is also taking time off from work when needed. Do not hesitate to ask for paid time off. Those days are given to you for a reason. Many workplaces are empathetic towards the challenges of being a new parent. 

While this list is not exhaustive, it is possible to thrive in the workplace and at home. There is not a one-size-fits all solution to being a working parent as everyone’s journey is different.