Financial Planning Parenting

5 Pieces of Advice For Young Adults From a Parent In Her 40s

byNeetu Katyal Piplani
  • Dec 15, 2023
  • 6 mins
mother parenting her children

Parenthood is a life-changing experience, with the first and foremost change being your priorities. Life starts revolving around the newborn, and soon enough, your own needs start to take a backseat. Indeed, parenthood can be challenging, especially for young adults, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting.

Now that I’m a 43-year-old parent of two children, I wish someone had advised me on how to navigate the ups and downs of parenting when I was a young adult. However, through my learnings and experiences, here are five tips I would like to impart to today's younger parents.

Like many other parents, my husband and I both work full-time. Due to the nature of his job, my husband often works long hours, leaving me to parent solo quite often. When you have young and active children, this can definitely be a challenge as you have to set aside time to entertain your kids, advise them in their studies and school projects, and even deal with occasional fights and tantrums.

These adult responsibilities of juggling work and caring for my kids naturally took a toll on my health. I found myself getting exhausted easily and experiencing chronic pain in my shoulders, back, and legs. At times, it got so bad that I had to take medical leave from work, which only added to the pressure of having to deal with a mounting backlog of work upon my return.

This experience, it turns out, is shared by many. A study by United Women Singapore revealed that 51% of mothers felt the stress of balancing work and family. The pursuit of wellness, both physical and mental, was also identified as a struggle for nearly half of the surveyed mothers and 32% of fathers.

To manage my condition, I consulted a physician, who prescribed medicines and supplements. I also received advice to exercise regularly and ensure that I take proper rest for my overall physical and mental well-being. This was when I realised the importance of regular exercise and why parents today should start doing this as early as possible, no matter how busy, to avoid challenges later in life.

If you need some motivation, try exercising together with your kids, which can serve as a fun, bonding routine. There are plenty of online workouts that you can easily do at home. You can even play soccer or cycle at a nearby park. The added benefit is that when your child sees you being active, they are likely to emulate your lifestyle in future.

Managing a household and raising a family while being a working adult can undoubtedly be mentally draining for many. For me, I’m guilty of letting stress get the better of me on multiple occasions, which saw me snapping and yelling at my family, especially when my kids were young. This, in turn, affected my relationship with them as they didn’t know how to respond to my outbursts in a healthy way.

As such, a tip to keep in mind is to take some personal time for self-care, even if it’s just for 30 minutes a day. Have a conversation with a good friend, watch your favourite TV show or try meditating. What helps is to build a routine that allows you to recharge so that you can feel like yourself again. After all, happy kids are raised by happy parents.

women running together

The daily rigours of life can make you so busy that you may miss out on important milestones in your child's life. For instance, when my son was about a year old, I sadly missed out on witnessing his first steps as I was travelling for work. On another occasion, I could not attend my daughter's first dance performance due to work commitments once more.

Yes – it’s easy to get sucked into several other commitments outside the family, but you’ll soon realise how quickly kids grow up. Before you know it, they’ll be adults leaving the nest to forge their own path.

So, an advice is to take the time to spend some quality time with your kids while they are young. And this does not necessarily mean going on a fancy vacation. Doing something as simple and fun as baking a cake with your children, having an ice-cream by the roadside or bringing them to the park serves the same purpose.

These will also be the moments they truly remember and not the expensive toys you bought to make up for the time you didn’t spend with them. Besides, an International Survey of Children’s Well-Being reported that children with strong family connections are more likely to thrive as they grow. This serves as a strong reminder of the impact of quality bonding on our children's future success and happiness.

Parenthood is challenging enough as it is. There’s no need to make it more so by comparing your kids’ development and success with their peers and shielding them at all costs.

With my eldest, I was fixated on whether he was hitting certain milestones, from when he took his first crawl to when he spoke in full sentences and knew his ABCs. When he was in primary school, I even concerned myself with his class ranking and how tall he was compared to his classmates. At times, he would come home crying because of a disagreement with a friend, and I would offer to remedy the situation. Naturally, all these added to unnecessary stress, which I wished I paid less attention to.

As such, my advice to young parents is to go with the flow and enjoy the ride. While we definitely have a duty to guide and support them as an adult, it is worth remembering that all kids develop at a different pace, and they are, in fact, capable of handling issues on their own. By letting them manage problems on their own, we help them exercise their independence and become more resilient in how they respond to challenges and solve them. 

For example, just the other day, my younger daughter approached me for help to change her virtual background for a video call with her friends. After telling her to give it a try, she ended up looking up the internet for steps, and within no time, she was changing virtual backgrounds like a pro.

Every parent wants to provide their children with the best possible education and all the comforts of life. However, limited finances can hamper plans.

Personally, I began working as a 21-year-old adult and continued working after I got married, as both my husband and I were determined to give our children a better life than we had lived. However, what we had failed to do as a young couple was to have a proper plan in place for our finances. As a result, we struggled to upkeep our family expenses, leaving little for personal savings or investments.

Fast forward to today, we find ourselves laden with worry, thinking about not just our children, who will be entering university when they become adults in about 10 years, but also our own retirement plans. Unfortunately, this realisation has come late. We certainly wished we had planned ahead earlier in life and would advise parents to start young so they wouldn’t need to save up even more aggressively within a shorter runway.

mother and daughter looking into ipad

As such, if there’s one advice I’d like young adults to have, it is this: Start saving as early as possible. It will tremendously ease your worries in the time to come. You will be able to rest easy knowing that your kids will be well provided for and that you can enjoy a comfortable and well-deserved retirement.

For my family, that security comes from saving with Income Insurance's Gro Retire Flex Pro. Through the plan, I have the option to accumulate cash payouts1 at an attractive interest rate of up to 3.00% p.a.2, or use the funds as life’s unpredictabilities demand. 

If you want to know how to get started and are looking for an insurance savings plan like Gro Retire Flex Pro, connect with an advisor today.

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