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Working professionals find themselves "stretched" to a limit as they juggle the responsibilities of being a parent and yet attempt to deliver on deadlines at the work place. Many find that they are ridden with guilt when socializing with parents who have the luxury of time with their children through the day and available for their every milestone - big or small! Those at work, are forced to leave their children with care takers or family and while they attempt to make it for important parent teacher meetings; often miss on other important milestones such as soccer practices, play-dates or rehearsals. Each of these "missed" opportunities leaves them with a feeling of regret and despite reminding themselves that they are doing this for the family, the regret lingers on.

The plight of working parents who have extensive travel plans or long hours at work is clearly visible as their routines gives them just mornings or late evenings with their children and that too an hour or two tops. And the unfortunate part is that they catch their children at perhaps, the most difficult part of the day - when they are waking up to get ready for school or just about going to sleep.

How does one who desires professional growth yet make it to the list of ideal parents? Quite frankly, accepting that one will have to multi task is perhaps a great step forward and also what is most important is a no comparison policy with other parents approach towards parenting. Once a choice is made, then all you have to do is plan effectively.

Having closely observed families with working parents in our schools is evidence enough that children irrespective of their parents working or not need to feel secure, able to reach you when in need, celebrate their moments of victory or defeat and confide in you. Thankfully, in this day and age where technology is just a touch of a screen, life is easier for everyone. I often share this with parents, being a mother myself who is forced to stay away from my child, while my son watches TV or is engaged in some sport with his mates isn't ideal. I would rather take that hour or two, while we have dinner together and chat, watch a TV program and discuss it, read together for a few minutes and talk. This is when, an hour or 24 makes no difference to a child but simply knowing that his mum or dad are always around and distance is only a matter of space.

Things you can do to make it easier for you as parents to spend that "quality" time:

On a parting note, remember you are blessed to be given opportunities where you can manage a family and work, so cherish it and "spending time", is such a relative term - It does not matter if you spend one hour with your child or 24, what's important is how engaged you are. You can surely make that one hour count!

Enjoy the privilege....

This Article is contributed by Mrs. Fatima Agarkar, a mother, an educationalist and Board Member at JBCN International School.