4 Balancing Tips for Side-Hustling Parents

Monday, January 30, 2023

     As most parents already know, having kids can make you want to have multiple bodies at once. Apart from keeping the house in order, you also have to be present in your kids’ lives. This means having to make time to help with homework and attend dance recitals or football matches—and still whip up healthy, filling meals three times a day. It’s already tough to be a parent with a day job: you have to balance your parental tasks with your professional life and somehow have spare time for your hobbies and interests. If you plan to add a side hustle to the mix, you could jeopardize your work-life balance and compromise your overall wellness.

     Fortunately, some people have demonstrated that you can make time for everything—including a side gig—in 24 hours. So, while it seems like you’ll need superpowers to do everything as a parent, it’s definitely possible for you to hold down the fort while working on your career and other income-generating activities. In the end, you’ll have enough room for some of the most important tasks of all: spending time with family and allowing yourself to unwind. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you achieve work-life balance, especially if you're a side-hustling parent:

4 Balancing Tips for Side-Hustling Parents
image from pexels.com
Determine Your Ideal Side Hustle

     The good news is that there are tons of opportunities that can serve as your means to get extra income. If you haven’t picked one yet, make sure to consider your lifestyle and priorities. Are you saving up for a large, short-term expense or are you content with earning an agreeable amount of money regularly? Are you more active during the day or at night? These factors will help you decide on a side hustle you prefer, be it freelance graphic design, blogging, private tutoring, or selling secondhand items.

     If you have an artistic streak and prefer selling items you have created, you can launch your own business. However, businesses take time to start generating revenue; thus, you need to be resourceful in exploring your options for starting capital. In addition to your salary (or any savings you may have accumulated while employed), you can acquire extra funding through sources such as an online loan app. Such sources often have flexible payment terms that will help minimize the burden of setting up your business.

Set Some Boundaries

     While it’s true that there’s no job or side hustle that offers perfect work-life balance, you can still prevent burnout and work toward an equal distribution of time by setting clear boundaries. To start, you can incorporate a mindset that prioritizes work-life balance above all. Aside from boosting productivity, you could also lower your stress levels significantly if you’re motivated by the need for self-care and family time.

     To establish healthy boundaries, make sure that you’re firm yet understanding when asserting your needs. Once the day is done, leave work behind and focus on your family—no calls, notifications, or emails. If a particularly busy workweek coincides with key family moments, see if you can make compromises such as working a few hours on a weekend, taking a day off, or having someone you trust cover your tasks. Hustling may result in great rewards, but it’s not worth sacrificing your wellness and missing out on your child’s school play.

Establish a Routine but Be Realistic

     Putting together a schedule or routine can help you establish a framework for a regular day. Essentially, abiding by a schedule can give you guidance on when work is supposed to stop so you can have enough time for rest and taking care of the family. In addition, having a schedule can help you portion your time and re-schedule tasks as needed. For instance, if you’re an early riser, you can do household chores in the morning so you can still spend time with the family before they get on with their days.

     That said, busy moms and dads don’t always have optimized routines. If you run a business as a side hustle, you could experience extended hours or remain on-call for the day to attend to customers. In this case, it wouldn’t be realistic to force yourself to cut off work communications once the clock strikes five.

     How you plan around your schedule depends on you, but you need to make sure that you designate a few hours or even a day just for self-care or family bonding time.

Enlist the Help of a Partner

     If you co-manage your household with a partner, it would be a good idea to involve them in parental responsibilities. Packed schedules are not unusual if you have a side hustle, so it’s best to split chores with your partner and take turns in looking after the kids. If you feel as though your wellness is at its lowest, don’t shy away from asking your partner to do their share of the household tasks so you can focus on yourself. If possible, ask them to give you some distraction-free “me time” and have them handle everything for at least a day.

     Building a family together is all about teamwork, and it's something that you and your partner should stick through for better or for worse.

Life Balance Can Look Differently for Each Parent

     With all these tips in mind, it’s also important for hustling parents to remember that there’s no such thing as a perfectly balanced life. It’s not realistic to expect that you’ll have things together all the time. In addition, juggling responsibilities along with family matters is all about give and take. Burnout results from having to do everything rigidly, so make sure that you give yourself some flexibility to determine what works best for you.

     Once you get your mojo, you can breeze through the sometimes chaotic but often rewarding life of a parent—and somehow manage to earn a little extra along the way.

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