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Work and Parenting as a Divorced Dad

How divorced fathers can balance work and kids

How You Can Maintain a Good Balance and Be There for Your Kids

When you get divorced, your life is completely upended. All of the routines you've been used to following have probably been thrown out the window, and things may seem especially chaotic as you sort out new living situations and schedules for parenting time. In the midst of the divorce process, it may seem like you'll never be able to find stability. However, once you settle in to your post-divorce life, you can establish new routines and goals, allowing you to be successful in your career while making time for your kids and yourself.

Finding Balance at Work and at Home

Once your marriage is over and you begin your new life as a single parent, you'll want to figure out how you can juggle your different responsibilities. Being able to hold down a steady job and earn an income to support yourself and your children is essential, but you'll also want to make sure your career doesn't get in the way of your time with your kids. Here are some tips for balancing your career and your home life:

  • Make your priorities clear - You'll want to be sure your employer understands the importance of your time with your kids. You can share your parenting schedule with them so they understand when you will or won't be available if they need you to work extra hours. You can also make arrangements for when you may need to leave the office to attend parent-teacher conferences or children's doctor appointments and how you can make up for this time. If your employer isn't willing to accommodate your schedule, you may need to look for a new job that will provide you with the flexibility you need.
  • Strive to be a good employee - Even though your kids are your top priority, you need to be able to focus on your work and meet your employer's expectations. When you're in the office, do your best to make sure issues related to your kids or your ex don't affect your job performance.
  • Accept help from others - As much as you might try to do everything yourself, you'll be more likely to succeed as a single father if you can rely on others when you need help. You might have a family member pick kids up from school if you need to stay a few extra minutes at work, or a neighbor or family friend might be able to keep an eye on them if you need to follow up on some work-related tasks during the evenings or weekends.
  • Be flexible - Both you and your ex will most likely be juggling work and parenting, and as you work together as co-parents, you can help each other out when necessary. For example, if your kids' mom needs to work some extra hours, you may be able to provide care for them during that time and make temporary adjustments to your parenting schedule as needed. By allowing for this type of flexibility, you will have options if a conflict between work responsibilities and parenting time arises.
  • Make time for yourself - In addition to balancing your job and your kids, you'll want to make sure you're paying attention to your own health and wellness. While you should focus on your kids during your parenting time and on your career during work hours, you'll also want to focus on yourself whenever you can. By taking the time to do the things you enjoy, spend time with friends and family, or connect with other single dads, you can stay happy and healthy, which will allow you to be the best father and employee you can be.
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