5 Strategies For Success as a Working Parent

parenting Feb 13, 2024
working parent

This article was written by Joe Murray of The Workin Parent.  

Being a parent is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year job.

Adding a full-time career on top of that can make life a bit…. difficult.

How can you be the best parent and have a successful career at the same time?

Does this sound impossible?

If it does, don’t worry, we have 6 strategies that will help you not only be an A+ parent, but help you to reach your full potential in the workforce at the same time.

Strategies For Success as a Working Parent

*One thing to note before we get into this list*

Prior to putting these strategies into action, it’s best to have spent some time in your current role.  Just something to think about as we go through these.

Strategy For Success #1: Make A Flexible Work Proposal:

In the world we lovie in today, it’s very rare to find companies and roles were the only available time to work is from 9am to 5pm.  Unless you work in a factory or at the White House, there is room for flexibility in your work day.

You just have to ask.

Your manager will never know you want to work a flexible schedule unless you ask.  Maybe you want to be able to coach your son’s baseball games at 3pm every day, or you are the parent bringing kids to school, whatever the reason, you should have the conversation with your manager.

What to Keep in Mind Before You Ask:

  • You should be willing to work a few extra hours if needed.
  • Your manager may not agree with your initial proposal
  • You may have to give up lunch breaks, fun activities at work on the days you need flexibility
  • Your manager may not initially agree to your proposal

Tips For a Great Proposal

  • Highlight the added value you’ll bring on the days you have a flexible schedule and how you’ll make up for the time you’re handling personal activities
  • Be willing to take on additional projects and responsibility during the time you are at work.
  • Include how it will positively affect your mental health.

You may be extremely nervous to propose a flexible work schedule, but if you have a good relationship with your manager, it can be a game changer for your professional and parenting life.

The worst thing that can happen is your manager says no.  In that case, you know the company you’re working for isn’t the place you should be working as a parent, and you can start quietly looking for new opportunities.

Strategy For Success #2: Pitch Working Remotely:

This strategy is an absolute game changer.  It’s the best thing you can do as a parent without question.

*A note on this one right from the start, there are careers where you just cannot work from home so if you’re in one of these careers and want to work from home, you may want to re-think your career*



-Police Officer/Firefighter

- Pre-K through High School Teacher

-Construction Worker

These are just a few careers where remote work will never happen.

If you’re not in one of these jobs, then working from home should be in the cards for you.

How To Ask:

  • Offer to work more hours
  • Offer to take on extra responsibility and help out colleagues
  • Offer morning or afternoon touchpoint calls with your manager/team
  • Offer weekly or bi-weekly check-in’s on progress

We can’t stress enough all of the benefits to working from home as a parent so it’s important to make this pitch to your manager and company.  Even if you aren’t able to work from home five days a week, even 2 or 3 days from home is a game changer.

Strategy For Success #3: Prioritize your Tasks at Work

This strategy can be tough for some parents because it can depend where you are on the company ladder.

If you’re higher up on the food chain, you probably have the ability to schedule meetings at your convenience (in which case, fit them around your kids’ schedules) and set project deadlines that work for you.

If you are lower down on the company ladder, you’ll have to communicate with your team.

Tips For Prioritizing Work

  • Try and block off your calendar ahead of time so meetings won’t be scheduled when it interests with your parenting duties.
  • Schedule morning touchpoint meetings with your team to find out the priorities for the day.
  • Ask for help from team members when necessary to ensure tasks are completed on time.

Strategy For Success #4: Make an After-School Routine Agreement:

This is one for you to do at home with your kids.

If you aren’t able to be home after school with your kids, plan out a routine that either your partner or whoever is taking care of your kids can follow and agrees with.

An after school routine is important because it can get your children to do what they need to do before you get home so you can maximize the time you spend with them.

Whether it’s doing homework, having time on their devices or planning out the meal for the night, not having to worry about trying to organize it all when you get home can definitely save a headache.

**Pro Tip**

Plan out your dinners before you go to work in the morning.  Even if you’re working from home, knowing what is going to be for dinner saves you a big headache at the end of the day after a long day.

Strategy For Success #5: Develop A Team Coverage Game Plan

In an ideal world, other people on your team also have kids and are interested in a flexible schedule.  In which case, you can develop a strategy for coverage while people are tending to their family business (no Godfather pun intended).

Even if you’re the only one working a flexible schedule, it’s good to have a team that can cover for anyone who isn’t there.

Steps To Developing a Great Coverage Gameplan

  • Create standard operating procedures for your tasks so anyone is able to step in while you are out.
  • Express to your manager your interest in learning how to do other team members roles as a backup for when they are out.
  • Use a shared calendar so everyone knows when team members are not available.

A good manager and team will be thrilled to know you are interested in helping them out in return for their help covering you while you’re out.

A great team dynamic relies on trust, so make sure you do your part to earn their trust.

What to Do Now

Now that you have some strategies in your back pocket, it’s time to come up with a plan of action.

  • Evaluate the relationship you have with your manager.
  • Review your role and figure out how you can collaborate more with team members.
  • Schedule time to meet with your boss to have the important discussions you’ve been putting off.
  • Talk to your family and figure out how you can make your schedule work best for them and you.

With a little bit of planning, communication and thought, you can make your time as a working parent a time you’ll look back on with happy thoughts.

Joe Murray is the author of The Workin' Parent's newsletter.  Sign up and get weekly tips at

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