You eat, sleep and breathe your family, but you're also pretty passionate about your career, too. Create a better work life balance -- and keep the connection to your kids during office hours -- with these tips.
Schedule time to talk. If your kiddo always wants to dish about the latest dramas at school, make a set time each day to chat with her. That way, she'll know that for those few minutes, you'll stop multitasking and be completely focused on her.
Put a note in his lunchbox. Before heading off to work, write a cute little note and place it in his lunchbox. It can be as simple as wishing him a great day, an "I love you," or even a funny little riddle you found online. And if your kid eats hot lunch? Tuck the note into his book bag instead.
Keep a journal. If your child wonders what you do all day, write it down in a notebook. Use terms that your kid can understand; after all, 'Brainstormed ideas for Q2" doesn't mean much to a 5 year-old. Ask your child's sitter to help her describe the fun things she did during the day, so you can share your experiences together at dinnertime.
Schedule a lunch date. When possible, ditch the salad bar and meet your kid for a slice of pizza and some fruit punch. The change in routine will do wonders for both of you.
Record a message. If your kid has a mobile phone, iPod or even a simple micro recorder, leave a happy message to your child after the beep. Beep.
Create your handprint. A fun craft project to do over the weekend, outline and cut out your handprint as well as your child's. Decorate them together with paints, sequins, glitter, and glue. Take yours to the office and let your little one hold onto his, in case he ever needs to hold Mommy's hand.
Read a bedtime book. If clocking in late hours at the office has caused you to miss more bedtimes than you'd like, take your child's favorite bedtime book and read it aloud over the phone. That way, you can share a virtual bedtime and tuck in experience.
Send a text. If your kid has a mobile phone, dashing off a quick text to your child when she least expects it -- say, during 2nd period Math -- will remind her that you're always thinking about her.
Make a map. For smaller children, draw a cute map that shows where your office is, and where home is. That way, your child can see that, according to the map, you're only really an inch away from each other.
Bring a gift. If you've been out of town for several days on a business trip to Biloxi, bring home a small token of your travels to your child. It doesn't have to be extravagant (and frankly, it shouldn't) but it should relate to your child's interests-- like a cool football jersey from that state -- to show him how much he means to you.
As a working parent trying to manage the delicate balance between your job and family life, the little gestures can make the biggest impact.
Jennifer Parris is the Career Writer for FlexJobs, an award-winning service that helps job-seekers find professional opportunities that offer work flexibility, such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time or alternative schedules. To learn more about Jennifer, visit FlexJobs.com or tweet @flexjobs.
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