HOW TO MANAGE LIFE WITH A THREE-YEAR-OLD

NATASHA ZYZALO

What is that, you think to yourself as you stare at a foreign object that can only be a piece of a little person’s breakfast that has somehow made its way onto your perfectly coordinated suit. Too late to do anything about it now as you are already loading little bodies and bags into the car trying to get out the door, man is that the time already?! Why does he hate you so…the clock that is.

Rushing into day-care, maybe today will be the day that there will be no delays, no extra forms you need to fill out, no crying, no temper tantrums, no toilet accidents…no…such luck. Man is that the time already, seriously!?

The above is not a unique experience by any means. It is an all too familiar scenario for some – “The working parent”. In fact, over our two offices 40% are working parents with children under the age of 10. Do these super parents still exist? Is anyone out there truly able to be a successful working parent? Chasing the golden gloriousness of the oh so coveted “work/life balance”. Surely there is an easier way.

Well, there is. And despite the opinions that generously fly around your head daily whether you would like them to or not the only person that can answer that is you. Throwing myself back into the work place after having two little boys I quickly discovered that nobody had an answer to my question: HOW am I supposed to make this work?

The answer turned out to be a lot simpler than I expected: You have to love what you do.

Bear with me as I am sure you have heard that before, it is not a new or enlightened piece of advice. Really, it is one of the most common and thrown around phrases related to career decisions. However, in terms of being a working parent, it is crucial to ‘making it work’. If you aren’t loving what you do, if you aren’t getting up every day and heading to work knowing that you are doing something that you enjoy, something that brings out the best in you, that enables you to feel like a success than you are going to feel incredibly drained. Every little problem or hiccup that occurs during your day is going to feel a lot bigger.

They say do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life…I have never believed that more than I do right now! Find what you enjoy, what you love to do and throw yourself into it and as soon as you realise that you are excited to get up and face each day, it changes your entire outlook and all of a sudden that little person is seeing a parent that is positive, happy and loving life. Ideally, that would also rub off on them and maybe eliminate a tantrum or too.

It’s not that simple you say…well no, sometimes it isn’t. But for me, throwing myself into a job I really love certainly helped changed my situation. That, and always, always, ALWAYS…carrying emergency wet wipes.