Balancing work and child-rearing is a struggle for nearly every family. There never seems to be enough hours in the day when you are trying to improve your career trajectory while simultaneously raising a happy and healthy family, all while keeping your own sanity intact. Here are five tips to help you to successfully balance your career with raising a family.
1. Set Priorities
With so many demands coming at you, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. Setting your priorities and sticking to them will help you to navigate this season of life. This may mean that you need to cut back on extra-curricular activities for your children. If physical fitness is one of your top family priorities, this could translate into an increased emphasis on making time for exercise. Recognizing what is important to you as a family will provide you with a guiding framework with how to balance work and home life. It is also important to know that it is fine to say no to adding more to your plate.
2. Get Organized
A color-coded family calendar is an invaluable resource when you need to stay organized and on track. You can code your calendar by the individual family member or use colors to distinguish different types of activities. Today’s online calendars are easily shared, making it simple for everyone to be able to edit and view the activities.
If your family is visual, you may decide to put a large whiteboard in a common area such as the kitchen. Being able to glance at the calendar and see the day in a snapshot will ensure that you do not miss any commitments. If you know other families with a similar schedule, you may want to consider organizing carpools to help to ferry children where they need to be.
3. Leverage Technology
Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to stay connected with family even when you are working. Utilizing a free conference call service will make it a breeze to connect with your children while you are at work or even traveling on a business trip. Starting a family text thread will keep everyone in touch throughout the day. There are also a variety of apps that you can use to track older children so that you are not always wondering where they are.
4. Take Time for Self-Care
It can be tempting to get so bogged down in your own work and family that you forget to take time for yourself. Ignoring your self-care needs can have a host of negative consequences on your life. You may think that you are doing your family or your boss a favor but putting all of your effort into those boxes.
However, if you fail to take care of your own needs, both your work and your home life will suffer. Dragging yourself out of bed for that workout class, heading out after work for happy hour with your colleagues, or indulging in a massage at the end of a busy week will have a tremendous effect on your overall mental health. These positive effects will spill over to all other areas of your life.
5. Ask for Flexible Work Scheduling
The people who find the most success in balancing work and family life are most likely those that enjoy a flexible working schedule. Do not be shy about asking for a flexible work schedule if you think that it will add to your overall quality of life. For example, simply asking to work from home one day a week will be a significant advantage to your weekly schedule, especially if you are saddled with a long commute.
If your finances allow, negotiating a part-time schedule or a job share arrangement will give you more free time to spend with your family. You may find that the time that you gain will help to mitigate your loss of income by taking on reduced hours. You only get one shot at spending time with your family, especially when your kids are young. By employing these five tips, you will enjoy better work and home life balance. This will improve nearly all facets of your life and make you a happier person overall.