The Parental Rat Race

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Parenting has become a rat race by its own standard. We seem to spend our lives running around trying to fit everything all in. Meeting all your children’s schooling needs, as well as work commitments, house work, and having to keep up with the cost of living takes its toll in the best of times. 

                                                                              How did we end up so stressed?

undefinedover the last century, we’ve gone from one extreme to another in the UK. Generally speaking, women used to stay at home and manage the household, unable to get a decent career because it just wasn’t their “place”. We've come a long way since then of course, but in this modern world we now live to the other extreme, and still, we aren't provided with many choices! As the cost of living continues to rise, and wages remain stagnant, living a substantial lifestyle usually means women are forced to work, and if you want to be a stay at home mum then, well... tough luck really. Even getting a mortgage is virtually impossible on a single income, especially in London and other cities in the South of England.

I’m a registered nurse, and I work on a ward where I regularly see colleagues treating life like a relay race, one parent works day shifts, while the other works nights, and when these shifts are 12 hours long, there’s not much time left to spend together as a family. They seem happy enough I guess, but my point is it is just a lot of hard work, and I imagine it can be lonely at times. That’s just one extreme, but with people struggling to fit everything in and afford to pay all of their outgoings, it’s hardly a surprising statistic that nearly 40% of individuals don’t take their full entitlement of annual leave each year.

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Holidays are such an important part of life. No matter where you take your break, it’s a time for to de-stress, recharge, and unwind. Not to mention those life lasting memories of enjoying each other and having fun. There are also enormous benefits for children when it comes to travelling (which I am going to delve deeper into in my next blog). So why are we racing through life, not even taking time for a holiday? 52 weeks a year of stress; hardly the life of our dreams.

A digital world

The world we live in is ever changing, ever developing, everywhere you look more, and more of our world is becoming digital. We even read books and newspapers on screens these days. According to the British media, machines will have replaced 50% of today’s jobs by 2050. But that’s not to say we’re just doomed to a future of no hope! Ben Pring from the London School of Economics (2017) argues that we can grow with the times. Machines can make humans more efficient at their jobs, and while some menial work is already being replaced by robots, there are always new doors opening elsewhere.

undefinedLearning digital skills and moving with the times does not need to be hard. In fact, I’m a strong believer that developing ourselves is only as tough as we allow it to be. The latest Government Report (2014) on working statistics shows there to be a record number of 4.2m people working from home. It’s pretty obvious that that figure is only going to continue to rise as the internet develops and people start to wake up to how powerful digital business is becoming.

Fear of the unknown

Being scared of change and not allowing yourself to grow is unproductive. Sometimes you just need to get out of your own way! Do you want to swap the rat race for a slow pace? You need an open mind. There is nothing that sets you apart from others who run a successful digital business apart from education and self-belief. I find it astounding that there are so many of us not even taking our entitled yearly holidays, and are allowing life to pass us by. Is this the purpose of life? I feel not! 4.2m people are working from home for a reason; it’s achievable, it’s possible, and it’s within reach.    

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