John Cowan - Plan B

Publish Date
Thursday, 6 October 2016, 2:43PM
By John Cowan

Many parents work, and to do this we need to arrange childcare, which is often expensive and inconvenient, but we do it.

You make plans and then, if you really want to reduce your stress and anxiety, you make back up plans as well. Many working parents spend a lot of their day worrying about the ‘what if’s –  “What if my child gets sick at school?” “What if the care-giver is delayed, or gets sick herself?” “What if there is a crisis at work and I am required to stay later than planned?” This worry can burn up a lot of our emotional energy even if those things never happen, so it is a problem that deserves solving.

A great motto for family life is, “The time to deal with a problem is when it is not a problem.” So my best advice (actually it was the advice given to me by many parents who work), is to work out a ‘Plan B’ ahead of time – a back-up arrangement that can be activated when needed. It might be a relative or a friend or a neighbour and, because they know it is not a regular thing and it is unlikely to happen often or even at all, they are far more likely to say yes. Even if you never call on your Plan B person, you can be much more relaxed, and your kids will be secure, too, knowing there is a plan in place. Your kids should always know if they have some emergency at school or get unwell, there is someone they know and trust that they can call.

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