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4 Tips on How to Balance Work and Family as a Single Parent

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Work life balance as a single parent

Most people dream of having a good work life balance as a single parent, but struggle to achieve it as a family overall. A healthy balance can lead to fewer health problems and increase job satisfaction and well-being. That sounds nice, but how do you achieve it? Here are four easy to implement tips to get you started on the path to a balanced life.

Set boundaries

It’s okay to set boundaries for your job. Have defined work hours. Inform your boss and colleagues that you’re not available outside of business hours. Emails received in your off-period can wait until the next working day.

If you work from home, it can be more difficult to maintain this boundary. It’s tempting to keep working long hours since your home environment doubles as your work place. To counter this, try creating a dedicated work space that you don’t use outside of work. This can be difficult if you don’t have the room. But, try to delineate your work from your living space as much as possible.

Stand up for your boundaries and learn to say no. Some employers expect you to meet constant demands. If your employer has accepted this arrangement for your healthy work life balance, hold them to it.

Create a support system

Look to people around you for any assistance they can provide to improve work life balance. This could mean asking a family member or friends if they wouldn’t mind babysitting or helping with an errand.

Check for any support groups whose members can relate to your situation. Single parent groups exist in person and online. These groups are excellent for connecting with people who understand your situation and can share their own experiences with poor work life balance. You can then share advice on what has been beneficial in creating a better work life balance.

The local community often has other resources you can use to create more flexible working arrangements. Childcare services and and extra-curricular activities to occupy your children can help manage your work responsibilities without harming family relationships.

Develop efficient routines

Creating routines to streamline daily activities is one of the best ways to improve time management. Introduce morning and afternoon routines to your home life so everyone knows what to do and less time is wasted. You can maximise the amount of time you have in your personal life to spend time with family and manage stress.

Thinking ahead is the cornerstone of successful routines. For example, many people will vouch for meal prepping. You don’t have to spend every day considering what to cook. After a long day’s work that’s probably the last thing you want to think about. You can have meals ready to go. You can also turn meal prepping into a family affair. Delegate responsibilities in the kitchen in an age-appropriate way so everyone can join in.

Have self-compassion

So many people are hard on themselves for feeling like they’re letting their family down. Self-compassion does wonders for your mental health. Nobody’s perfect. You won’t necessarily achieve everything you attempt, which is okay. It’s good to celebrate the small wins. Experts will tell you how important that can be psychologically. Take motivation from the progress you’re making.

Connect this mindset to your work. You might get a colleague trying to contact you about something that could wait. You can tell them you’ll call them back. Maybe you planned on spending time with your children at lunch. You don’t have to do everything at once.


If you’re like most people, the thought of having a good work life balance seems like a pipe dream. It’s not necessarily as hard as you think. Small and manageable changes to your life can add up to a more rewarding and healthy work life balance. These four tips are drawn from the experiences of other single parents.

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Luke Shanahan Family Law

Luke Shanahan


Luke Shanahan is the Principal Solicitor of Shanahan Family Law. Luke has been practising family law since 2008 and started his firm in 2014. He has three beautiful daughters and a supportive, gorgeous wife. In his spare time, Luke enjoys playing tennis and trips to the beach with family and friends. 

Luke is dedicated to providing the best possible legal representation for his clients. His experience and passion for family law set him apart from other solicitors. You only have to read their 5-star reviews to understand that.

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