As a single parent, family has to be your priority. At the same time though, you do need to make money. Finding that work/life balance can be particularly difficult.
A job/career is supposed to be an investment in your future. However, we often find ourselves investing our futures in our jobs. Let’s look at the major factors you should look at before deciding to take a job. Can you afford to take the job? Can you Afford not to?
When people use the phrase ‘full-time’ job it is not a misnomer. 40 hours of a 168-hour week may not seem like a lot, but when you remember that another 56 hours are taken up by sleep and another 5-15 get snatched up by your commute, you’re looking at about 57-67 hours a week and about 5 hours a weekday of free-time…If you can even call it that since being a single parent is a 24-7 365 gig.
Can you afford to take the job? Your time is precious. At the same time, diversifying your day isn’t the worst idea in the world. You know your support system best. If you can swing it, having a job is worth the time crunch.
Can you afford not to? Our civilization (for better or worse) is built on currency. It’s a simple truth, you need money to get by. There is assistance out there for single parents if you know where to look. But, maintaining a steady income is probably not something you can go without.
Speaking of commuting; commuting is a huge commitment. Mornings are particular busy when taking care of a child, getting them ready for the day while trying to get yourself ready for the day is likely to cut into those 8 hours of sleep we covet so much. More than that though, a long commute is taxing on your resources. If you drive, you have to buy more gas, if you take public transportation you have to pay for that, and possibly parking. It all adds up. No matter how you handle an hour commute, it’s going to sap you of your energy as well. Moreover, if it’s not close enough to your child’s school or daycare, you’ll have to make other arrangements which may end up being even more taxing on your energy and resources.
Is it worth it? It really depends how good the job is. If it is your dream job, you’ll be more inclined to make it work. There’s a question you should ask yourself though.
Do I see a future here? It’s easier to invest the time and effort into something you can see yourself doing 10 years down the line. You may even consider moving to make the commute less of an issue. But, if you don’t want to be doing it for long, or even if the job/company doesn’t seem like it will last, it may not be a good idea to put all your eggs in a basket that’s about to fall.
As a single parent, you have the best of intentions when you try to go the extra mile for your kid. That being said; lighting the candle at both ends until you burn out doesn’t serve anyone. It can feel like you need to take the first job offered to you. However, if it’s too much, don’t feel like you’re being selfish in continuing your search. You need money, yes. But, your kid needs a healthy parent even more.
How do you or any other single parents in your life deal with working a full time job? Do you make a point to look for offices with daycare? Let us know if you have any advice other parents can use!