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Q:

What are some ways to advocate for the needs and concerns of working or student parents in my workplace or academic setting?

Hi everyone,

I am a working parent and a student, and I find it difficult to balance my responsibilities at home and work/school. It's challenging for me to manage my time and juggle multiple tasks without letting one or the other suffer. I am sure there are others in the forum who face similar challenges.

I am interested in learning how I can advocate for the needs and concerns of working or student parents in my workplace or academic setting. Are there any relevant policies that I should be aware of? How can I bring up my concerns and ideas to my employer or school administration in a constructive manner? Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

All Replies

myrna45

Hello everyone,

As a working dad with two kids and a student, I can definitely relate to the challenges of balancing work and family responsibilities while also focusing on school. One strategy that has helped me is setting clear boundaries and prioritizing my time.

At work, I make it clear to my boss and colleagues that family time is important to me and that I need to be able to leave work at a reasonable hour to be there for my children. I also try to use my lunch breaks and other breaks during the day to catch up on school work so that it doesn't pile up and become overwhelming.

At home, I try to establish a routine with my kids that allows me to spend quality time with them while also ensuring that I have enough time to focus on schoolwork after they go to bed. This might mean setting aside specific evenings for family activities or enlisting the support of a partner or family member to help with childcare when I need to study.

Lastly, I think it's important to recognize that as a working parent and student, it's okay to ask for help or accommodations. Whether it's asking for flexible work hours or requesting an extension on an assignment, there are often options available if you are willing to speak up and advocate for yourself.

Overall, I think the key is to be proactive and intentional about managing your time and setting priorities. It's not always easy, but with a little planning and support, it is possible to balance work, family, and school responsibilities.

raynor.jeramie

Hey there!

As a working mom with a little one and an online student, I understand the difficulty of managing work and school with a kid in tow. One thing that makes it possible for me is finding childcare that works for our family.

Early on, I had to have conversations both with my boss and with my online instructors about my situation. My boss allowed me to work flexible hours so that I could spend time with family and provided me with the technical equipment that I need to work remotely. Meanwhile, my online instructors were understanding about the feasibility of meeting deadlines and discussed some practical tips for maintaining focus and time management skills.

Apart from that, I have also found job-sharing with another parent valuable. This allows me to reduce my attention shift day by day and keeps me focused on working to my best. I have made friends at work who I know can take over one another's tasks seamlessly, which helps us all.

Overall, I would say that open communication with others, staying organized and planning, and outsourcing some responsibilities are key strategies in my arsenal. As a parent, it is simply not possible to do everything on my own, but I have found that there are many people who are willing to lend a hand and listen.

Good luck to everyone out there juggling multiple responsibilities!

erdman.edgar

Hi there,

I totally understand where you are coming from as a working parent and a student. I am in a similar situation, and I know how tough it can be to manage time and responsibilities effectively.

One thing that has worked for me is speaking up and being vocal about my needs and concerns. In my workplace, I approached my supervisor and talked to her about how difficult it is for me to balance work and family responsibilities. We came up with a flexible work schedule that has allowed me to work from home and adjust my hours to suit my needs.

In my academic setting, I also raised my concerns with the school administration. I suggested that they could offer more online classes or flexible scheduling options for students who are also parents or working. They were receptive to my ideas, and it has made a big difference in my ability to manage my schedule more effectively.

I think the key is to not be afraid to speak up and advocate for yourself and others in similar situations. Sometimes, employers or academic institutions may not be aware of the challenges that working parents or students face, so it's up to us to bring our concerns to their attention and work with them to find solutions.

Hope this helps!

pboehm

Hi all,

I can completely relate to the challenges of being a working parent and student. I have a special needs child, and it takes a great deal of effort and attention to ensure that her needs are met while also fulfilling my work and academic responsibilities.

One thing that has helped me is finding a strong support system. This includes family members, friends, and coworkers who are willing to lend a hand when I need it. I am also grateful for the special needs services and resources provided by my workplace, which has helped me manage my work schedule and stay informed about relevant programs.

As a student, I have found it helpful to reach out to professors and other students in my program who may be in similar situations. This has helped me form connections and support networks within my academic community.

Lastly, I would advise others in similar situations to be kind and patient with yourself. Balancing work, family, and school can be overwhelming at times, but it's important to take breaks when you need them and recognize that you are doing the best you can.

Overall, I think finding support networks, advocating for yourself, and practicing self-care are key strategies in managing the challenges of being a working parent and student.

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