Fortunately, my employer allows flexible working hours and telework, which makes things easier, but not having family members and friends close by sometimes makes it very hard for us.
Émilie and Valentin, originally from France, arrived in Quebec in 2009. Their two children, aged two and three years old, were both born here. Émilie is an administrative assistant who works regular hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Valentin is a truck driver. While Valentin always makes it home in the evenings, he never knows what time his day will end. “Fortunately, my employer allows flexible working hours and telework, which makes things easier,” says Émilie. “But not having family members and friends close by sometimes makes it very hard for us.”
40% of mothers say family concerns distract them while they work.
The couple must therefore be resourceful when they need help, she says. “I’ve built myself a network among the parents of the children who go to the same daycare as my two children. I want to tell other parents in the same situation not to be afraid of opening up to others and asking for help.”
Not hesitating to ask for help is good advice for families who come from far away and who don’t have family support close by. “Carpooling, grocery shopping, babysitting and so on are all little services parents can exchange,” says organizational psychologist and human resources consultant Guylaine Deschênes. And don’t hesitate to take advantage of the services offered to families by your local community organizations.
Good organization also helps to keep your children’s evening routine on track. As well, sharing tasks and getting ahead on the weekends (grocery shopping, planning, preparing and freezing meals and snacks, doing laundry, vacuuming, etc.) can help save you time during the week.