Disclaimer before I start talking.
I’m not a parent. I currently don’t intend to be a parent. But I have the utmost respect for millennial parents — working or not.
From what I’ve witnessed, parenting is a 24 hour a day job. There’s no break, there’s no time to rest. Forget full-time — if you have a young child, your time is limited and your schedule is based on the needs of that child (or children). Working parents also find time to provide financially for their children and take care of them at the same time.
So, why are we talking about this topic in the “adulting” category? Because time management and parenting are both life skills that can come with and without working.
I chatted with Dana Angel, (who just happened to create our awesome new graphics through her freelance graphic design business, Imaginique Art), about balancing life, her 9-5 job, her freelance business, and parenting as a millennial. Here’s what she had to say:
Do you prefer working in the office or working from home?
Working from home. Although I like meeting up with co-workers every once and a-while so I don’t feel out-of-the-loop when it comes to what is going on in the office.
Do you prefer graphic design or social media?
Both. I enjoy putting my work out there for people to see and social media is another outlet.
How do you focus on so many tasks at the same time?
Prioritize. It does get hard at times but if I don’t make to-do lists then I am always racking my brain trying to remember what project I am supposed to do next. I need to write everything down and mark it off as I finish the project.
What are your tricks to focus when you’re working from home?
Sometimes I put on music which helps me focus and sometimes I need quiet — especially if I am reading something like an article to post or an email. I try not to jump around from project to project because then I loose focus on what I was doing when I come back to it.
What do you do for self-care?
I try to workout and eat healthy.
How do you give your son the attention that he needs while you’re working and planning family time?
It is hard when I am working from home. Usually I am glued to the computer and can’t give him the attention he needs. I try to take a break every now and then to play with him.
On the days that I am in the office, when I come home we play with his toys together, we read, he helps me cook dinner, or we watch movies.
What is your favorite way to spend family time?
Doing something fun and that we will all enjoy, whether it is the zoo, park, beach, amusement park, going to the movies or even just playing a (kiddie) board game.
What have you learned about being a parent since you became a parent?
I have learned I need to have more patience and that being a parent means unconditional love. I would do anything for my son even if it means taking away my “me” time.
Would you prefer to work or not to work in the future?
I feel that I can never stop working in some shape or form but as of now, I’d prefer not to work, especially if we plan on having another child. When my son is this young (3), he needs me and juggling the work-life balance is a struggle and even though I am making it work now, I see how it affects him.
What advice do you have for millennials who want to become working parents?
It is a struggle at first until you find that balance. The reason why I started working from home two days a week is because I became a parent and wanted to spend more time with my son. If you don’t have the luxury of working from home, then make sure you spend every second of the weekend with your children. They are only young once and the memories will last a lifetime.
Dana Angel is a Graphic Designer and Digital Media Manager at the National Association of Professional Women, and the Owner and Designer at Imaginique Art, a graphic/web design and social media services business. When she isn’t working, you can find her spending time with her husband and son or having a girls night with her friends. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/imaginiqueart.