Balancing family and work

Work-Life-Balance

More women than ever are entering the workforce. Being a full-time working mother can lead to feelings of guilt and stress, because of divided attention between work and family.

Personally, I sometimes wish I could be a stay-at-home mom, but my job is very fulfilling most of the time, and I would probably not enjoy being home all the time.  It’s also been a part of my life for a very long time and helped shape me into the person I am today. It’s even helped me teach my child valuable life lessons from time to time.

The solution to balancing a hectic lifestyle is to focus on a definitive plan to find balance between work and parenthood.

Here are some tips to consider:

Let go of guilt

Think of how your company benefits your family, like being able to save for your child’s education or by contributing towards family holidays or even just that ice cream you bought your child.
Find quality childcare

Ask your friends and family for references. Knowing your child is safe and happy will help you feel less worried and guilty while you are at the office.

Make mornings easier

Prepare as much as possible the night before. Pack school bags, lay out clothes and make lunches.

Create a family calendar

Note extracurricular activities (remember to have sporting equipment / musical instruments for the next day ready next to school bags).

Note when bills are due, jot down birthdays and family events.

Be sure to check and update this calendar every day.

Communicate with your employer

If you don’t ask, you won’t know. Chat to your employer about how flexible they are about time off for family duties. Being clear on what is allowed and planning around this will definitely alleviate some stress.

Stay connected with your children during the day

If you can, call your child during the day when you have a break.
Write a note to a child wishing them luck on a test or a game or recital where you can’t be present, and slip it into their lunchbox or their pencil case.

Limit work-related activities at home

Don’t constantly check emails and make phonecalls. If you have to, leave this for when the kids are asleep.

Reduce TV time to spend quality time with your partner.

Limit personal activities at work

Limit casual email exchanges, internet surfing, gossiping and long lunches. If you are constantly distracted, you’ll accomplish less during the workday, which will stress you out more.

Create special family activities

Make time for your family both during the week and on weekends. Even a movie night, or a night with board games or a simple game of cards will do a lot in keeping a bond with family members. If your child is very little, make bath time less of a chore and more quality time. Play with them with their bath toys for 10 minutes while washing in-between. Slightly bigger children – colour a picture or build a puzzle with them.

Spend time with your partner

Remember, you’re still an adult, and your partner is very important. If you don’t cherish this relationship, there’s no foundation to your family. Date night doesn’t need to be expensive. Even just eating a meal together – alone, and talking about anything other than work or children will go a long way in keeping your relationship alive.

Very important – Take care of yourself

We’ve all heard this over and over, and I’ve recently again been reminded of this –if you take care of yourself first, you can take care of others. This includes your family and your job.

Read a book before going to bed. Have a weekly soak in a bubble bath. Paint your toenails.

Fit in exercise – even if you just walk around the block. Eat well and sleep enough. You cannot function if you don’t put yourself first sometimes.

Good luck!

(with credit and adapted from http://www.parents.com)