Part III: The Ultimate Juggling Act – Little Ones and Work – How to Take Care of Yourself

April 14, 2023

Third in a Series

You’re beginning to settle into what seems to be a manageable working parent  routine. Nearly all your energy is focused on taking care of your little one and meeting your employer’s demands. But what does it take to keep up the pace? Knowing how to take care of yourself!

Take Care of Yourself

You’ve heard this advice a million times but do these coaches really know what your life is like? “Taking care” sounds trite but rejuvenating yourself comes down to some really easy tasks. For example, each week, as you’re inputting events into that family calendar, schedule at least one event for yourself — a grocery trip or walk without your children, a pedicure, listening to your favorite music alone, maybe a weekend yoga class, or a haircut during your lunch break. Once your family sees you’re insistent about these mommy time-outs, they’ll come to accept them ─ maybe reluctantly at first but eventually they’ll grow accustomed to the idea, especially when mom seems happier. 

Stay Connected to Friends and Work Contacts 

When was the last time you had an adult conversation that didn’t involve your children? While now that your young ones are the true center of your life, spending time with working moms and work contacts helps you better weather life’s ups and downs that can pull you off course. Fellow moms can commiserate and provide support and work contacts come in handy when you may be considering a different job opportunity.

When to Say No in Social Situations 

It’s ok to be picky about how you spend time since, now that you’re a working parent,  your time is more valuable than ever and your schedule isn’t as flexible as it used to be.  How do you know when to say “yes” and when to say “no” ? If you’re feeling pressured or your stomach gets tight at the thought of saying “yes” to a social request, it’s probably not a good idea. Another alternative is to promise the person that you’ll respond in a few days after you’ve checked your schedule. This comeback takes practice but becomes easier when it’s repeated. You deserve not to be pressured into doing anything and to spend time doing what you want or need to do without any guilt!

Navigating Parenthood and Work Commitments 

It’s a lot easier to stay focused at work when you know that your child is safe and secure at Luminous Early Childhood Learning Center in the Bronx. Like many of your fellow working parents, you must leave by a certain time each day to pick up your children. Once you’ve made your boss and co-workers aware of your commitment, it’s only fair that it be honored each day. Setting these expectations will help reduce your feelings of being overwhelmed.  If you can also reach an understanding with your boss that you will be accessing your computer after hours only in special instances, it will also help keep your work responsibilities from encroaching on your family commitments. 

If you are asked to stay late, calmly remind the group when you need to pick up your child and ask how you can help the next morning.  While the response may not be warm and fuzzy, it’s important not to waiver from these reasonable expectations and the respect that you deserve. 

Even though working parents have way more to do, they find ways to be productive and are seen as a reliable, valued workers. They make and follow a to-do list each day, are focused, avoid wasting time mindlessly checking email over and over, and minimize meal preparation time by planning ahead. The balance between work and parenthood is never perfect but using time productively leaves more time to enjoy the beautiful lives you’ve brought into the world — and that’s the biggest accomplishment of all.

    Luminous removes the hassle of arranging for tuition vouchers and helps make childcare affordable. Vouchers can help ease your financial stress – reducing the cost to as little as $1 to $50 dollars per week per child depending on eligibility. Learn more about qualifying for HRA and ACS vouchers at our seven Bronx and Brooklyn centers. Payment can also be made by SEIU/1199 Child Care, check, credit card, and through the Luminous reimbursement program. Contact Luminous Early Childhood Learning Center at or call us at 929.228.1180.


    Thanks for contributing writer Sara Novack for assisting with this series.