Making ends meet in the modern world is hard enough, but when you’re raising a child, balancing your work and family duties takes that challenge to another level. Yet having kids didn’t always entail such difficulties.
Through the ages, human beings used to have a different model in traditional societies. As the old African saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Back when this was literally true, an entire group of non-parental adults and older children could step up and take care of young kids. Parents had more freedom to work on various ways of providing for their families.
Across the country today, most parents have a nuclear family. The smaller unit gives us greater flexibility to pursue better opportunities; the average American moves 11 times in their lifetime. But with a lack of non-parental sources of support, it can place more strain on either your career or your role as a parent.
You can change this situation by evaluating and rethinking your model of how to earn a living. Each person gets 24 hours in each day. The typical job demands at least 8 hours of your schedule. According to the Industrial Age model of work-life balance, that leaves you with 8 hours each of leisure and rest.
In theory, that’s a lot of time left for you to draw upon and devote to your child. But it’s rarely that easy or simple. We didn’t evolve to be left alone for 8 straight hours in early childhood. Apart from the obvious safety concerns, studies have shown that doing so has negative effects on children.
On top of that, working a day job rarely occupies just 8 hours of your time each day. You have to commute to and from work. Meanwhile, your mind is busy processing work-related concerns, often even after you clock out. It leaves you feeling busier and more exhausted. It detracts from the quality of your free time.
Limits of employment
Just as you can strive to balance your budget, you can also seek to make more time. Cutting down on household maintenance and other chores could be worth the price of seamless gutter installation or similar improvements; you pay for not having to worry about those tasks.
Companies have also proven more willing to accommodate long-term remote working arrangements since the pandemic shook up our world. And if working from home, on top of smart budgeting tactics when it comes to your time and money, is enough to give you the balance you need, that’s great.
However, despite the increased flexibility from remote work, many employees have struggled to maintain productivity. You might be able to keep an eye on your child all day and get a lot of tasks done around the house. But if you end up investing another couple of hours into your job on a daily basis, then you’ll still be pushing your limits.
Search for a new model
This problem extends even to occupations in the gig economy. Taking on independent contract work as a freelancer gives you even greater control over your workload and schedule. But whether you work from home, in a traditional office, or as a contractor, you’re still making do with a partial solution at best.
These models of income all share the same premise: you trade your time and effort for money. You can gain more leverage if the ‘effort’ part of the equation is more valuable. An employer will pay better for rare skills and high qualifications.
But not everyone can meet such criteria. Thus, most people fall back on the ‘time’ side of the equation. They leverage their time in order to earn money and support their family. And since time is a finite resource, it means even less time each day spent with your kids.
Passive income and business
As mentioned earlier, the best long-term solution is to change your model of income generation. In today’s world, there are many options for passive income to get you started. Running a blog, for instance, can help you earn more through ads and affiliate marketing.
You can also use it as a platform for online commerce, especially if you make hand-crafted products. The time and effort you invest in putting up a website and selling stuff will be moderate; the potential income, on the other hand, can scale further.
Passive income runs on the same principle as entrepreneurship. So if you’re business-minded, you can look to run a small business out of your home. These models of income generation will still require a lot of effort and can be risky. But you won’t have to constantly push against the limits of your time, or fall back on traditional arrangements to see to your child’s care.