Keeping a balance between one’s commitment to work and family has never been more difficult than in these days. Besides, there is a need to keep up with yourself, which only makes it a little more difficult. But you can also be sure that things are not automatically going to get better. The average worker who loves his family dearly and is also very passionate about his career may be lost as far as balancing work and family is concerned. Keeping the work life balance, though a challenging feat is not impossible. It is also one of the most famous causes of stress, anxiety and marital struggles. Admittedly, there is a lot to handle every other day and things could get really hard. But you cannot simply throw your hands up in the air and expect that everything is going to be just fine, because that will not happen. The following tips could help to to effectively deal with the pressure that comes with attending to career and family.
Use Daily plans and stick to them
One of the reasons why people feel like everything is totally out of control and they are neither successful at their jobs, or at home is a messy schedule. Without an easy-to-follow daily plan, balancing work and family will be much more difficult than it should be. Every day has just 24 hours for everyone. The way you use that time determines how successful you are going to be in finding balance in life, especially as working parents. If you are constantly out of schedule with work and family, then you have two sides to give apologies to every other day. The man or woman who has a messy daily schedule may wake up late in the morning with no time to have breakfast with the family, hurry off and is probably late for work, has to work longer to cover up. That also means coming back too late to have lunch with the family.
What you must do to solve this issue is create a daily plan that will help you effectively follow family and work schedules and effectively maintain work life balance. Without using a definite plan, other things are just going to interrupt your program and you will sooner or later catch yourself finding balance in life. It is easier to manage life, career and family when one is organized. And what better way to be organized than to have a definite plan that you can follow to keep things in perspective.
Making a plan is one thing and following it is another. It is easy to make a plan, but it takes daily determination to follow through on it successfully. Good thing is, those who are able to stick to it daily are better able to manage the several things that have to be handled each day.
Be a hundred percent present wherever you are
If you have limited time to be at work and to be with your family, it is very important that you are fully present wherever you are at every moment. You cannot be partially present at work or with family as this will simply mess that time up. Every moment has to count if you are going to be effective everyday. When you are at work, your wife or husband and kids may stop trying to reach you when they know that they can have you all to themselves while you are home.
The mistake some working parents make is bringing work from the office back home. Nothing could be more annoying to your spouse or frustrating to your children who probably already think you are hardly home for long enough. At the end of the day, you come to realize that one of your goals should be making your kids and spouse miss you less while you are at work. If you are only half present when at home, then they will fill like you are not there even at that time. Hence they are likely to miss you more. But if you are fully engaged and present while home, your presence seems to linger around the house even while you are at work. As a result the family does not really feel your absence as much.
As best you can, establish boundaries between work and family. You ought to have some actions (even if they are just imaginary) that are unacceptable while at work or with family. This should help keep your family from intruding into your work time and vice versa. If you do not do this, it is very likely that work and family time will just be mixed up, making the whole situation feel terrible.
It is ok to break the rules while finding balance in life
Everyone who makes rules in order to keep an important schedule could feel terrible when they fail at it more than once. If balancing work and family is your target, you must be prepared to fail sometimes so that it does not entirely kill you motivation to go on. But it is normal to miss it every once in a while. Sometimes, you could even intentionally break those stringent rules you have set for yourself so that the love and affection coming from you to your family does not always seem as mechanical as your commitment to the job. We always want our relationships with those we love to be spontaneous. The schedule, if taken to extremes could make it boring to have you around. Everyone knows how long you are going to stay so instead of enjoying the moment, they are anxious about when it is going to end. That shouldn’t be the case on every single day you have to spend with family.
Besides, if you break the rules every once in a while and feel terrible about it, it may just make you nervous about your commitment to family and that negatively affects your determination to continue.
Find help with Child care
There is nothing wrong with finding help from child care services or even hiring a nanny to help take care of the house and kids for a few hours while you are off to work. For many working parents who have to take care of a home, this is the way to effectively maintain work life balance. It will actually take some of the pressure off you. As a working mum for example, if you have to come home tired and then start dinner, help the kids with their assignments before preparing them for bed, you will hardly have any time to yourself. Besides that, it is difficult to keep up with that kind of schedule everyday without breaking down. Before long, the effects of such strain will be evident in your attitude at work and even while you are home. Finding balance in life means somehow has to sometimes be on the other side of the sale to ensure that things stay balanced.
The situation, however, could be entirely different if you had someone to share the work load with. Mom’s especially have a tendency to feel guilty whenever the idea of getting help with the kids come up. For some reason, they feel guilty about it. But at the same time, the facet that they cannot handle everything effectively on their own is abundantly evident. So you have work to do, kids and a home to take care of, and at the same time, you have to feel good about yourself. Well. Honey, you cannot always have it all. There ought to be a place where you delegate responsibility to some other person and not feel awkward about your decision. It is not easy, but you have to find a way around that.
Think of the fact that you are working as hard as you can not because of yourself but for your children. And without the job, you might not be able to take care of them properly. There is no need being guilty about this because your sacrifices are an act of love rather than selfishness. Alternatively, if you have older children who can take care of the younger ones after school until you are back from work, then you can sit them down and explain to them why they have to play their part. And remember to be firm as a parent while giving instructions. I don’t understand why some parents these days have to beg and cajole their children into taking instructions from them.
Be and stay as organized as possible
One of the easiest ways to loose control and mess things up when trying to keep the balance between career and family is to be disorganized. The least form of disorganization could cost you a whole lot. In order to keep the kind of schedule necessary to effectively handle family and a job, you need to bring in your A game when it comes to being organized. Lets look at a few tips. You have to come home late for work so be sure to have everything that will be needed for dinner neatly packed in the refrigerator before leaving for work so that any other person who is home at the moment can easily get those items out and start preparing them before you come home.
Before going to bed, make sure the children’s snack pack for the next day is ready to go, their bag packs ready and their uniforms sorted out. Have the entire morning planned so that you can leave the house on time. Have you office files, gadgets and bag you will need for work the next day neatly arranged and kept at the living room on your way out. And do not forget to choose your clothes, shoes and even makeup. Women Usually spend a lot of time between the bathroom and the room. Cutting down this time could be the one thing needed to give a quick fix to your entire day.
A day starts off in the morning. From the time you wake up from bed until you get to the office, those few hours high a high bearing on the way your entire day turns out. If you mess things up in the morning, especially before leaving the house, it could start a chain of events that messes up an entire day, week or even month. You can even have a weekly family schedule that everyone follows. That way, every member of the family knows what they ought to do so that the family is intact. It is a great way to take the stress off you. Finding balance in life will be a lot easier if you decide to be as organized as possible.
Limit time wasters and distractions
For some people, there is a lot of time wasted on the Internet each day and this makes it almost impossible for them to maintain work life balance. That time could be used to make your schedule less choking and more productive. There could be a number of other things you waste your time on each day. Figure out which things you do routinely on a daily basis though they are unproductive to your family, career or personal wellbeing. Eliminating such things from your schedule may be just what you need to gain a little more time to take care of more pressing issues. You cannot afford to be distracted too often.
Spend quality time with your partner
The quality of life a family experiences is largely dependent on the relationship state of the parents. Parents who do not pay attention to their relationship with each other are more likely to be touchy an less cooperative to make things work. It is better to try taking care of a family alone than having to do so with someone who will not cooperate with you. So many parents will be less stressed by the pressures from career and family if they could maintain that touch of romance and love that characterizes every lively relationship. It is burden trying to play your part when you are emotionally out of tune with your partner or if there are marital problems involved. Besides you need the time together so that you can both relax and take off some stress.
Many parents are making the mistake of putting their children before their union as they try balancing work and family. But working parents have to realize that the livelier their love relationship is, the less stressful the efforts they are making will feel. The attitude with which we do things is closely related to the energy levels we experience while trying to do those things. If you are frustrated with or angry at your partner, doing the same things you did before will just seem more burdensome. But if you have a great relationship with your partner, then making sacrifices for the family will always be fun.
Create special family moments and activities
Children especially have to get special moments when they are the center of attraction to their parents. It does not have to be a long time, neither does it have to be something tedious or too serious. About thirty minutes of watching TV or playing around with them will be OK, as long as you are consistent at it. You must aim at creating special family moments that are a routine children can look forward to being just with you. Even meal times could be converted to moments of fun. Play, pray, watch tv and do other fun stuff together. If you children are old enough, you can have them with you in the kitchen while you cook, just so there are some additional minuted during which you all can have a great time with each other. Such moments will be cherished even while you are not around.
Find time for yourself
In order to effectively maintain work life balance and keep a good relationship with career and family, you have to be fit and healthy. That means taking good care of yourself. Don’t make everything about family or the kids. You need to play your part in taking care of them, but you can only do that effectively if you are taking good care of yourself. Find time to hang out with friends, build relationships and have fun in the midst of all that is going on.
Fathers especially need this. Women could go for long just being so caught up with the activities they have to take care of. It could be stressful for them but it would not really border them as much as it would border men. Men cannot stand the home based pressure women have to go through for more than a few days. Most of them will just throw up their hands in the air and give up. So they need an outlet to release some tension. It may be going to the gym twice or thrice a week, playing basket ball or video games. Those activities are like an escape rout for all the tension and pressure. It helps them relax and prepare to face their responsibilities effectively. It is also important for mothers or women to understand this in order to avoid conflicts. The fact that a man chooses to do all these things, especially when you think it is better for him to be at home is not a sign that they do not cherish family time as much as you do.
Don’t bite more than you can chew
Many people in America and other countries around the world are working at least two jobs in order to secure a better life for their families and themselves. However, if you have a home to care for besides your job, then there is a limit to the number and types of jobs you can hold at a time. It is one thing to work too hard because you have to, it is another thing to do it just because you want to. If you can live comfortably with one good job, there is no need getting another that will only make taking care of your family more difficult. Decide what amount of work you can do and take care of your family at the same time. Balancing work and family is normally a tedious thing to do, why make it harder for yourself by taking more jobs than you have the time and energy to handle.
Talk about your work load with family and friends
If you have good friends and family members who are willing to help you out, explain your situation to them and allow them help out. Having someone who can even take your children to and from school will be such a relief for you. The problem is, some people don’t feel comfortable talking about their problems or asking for help. But if you need help, you need help. There is no need to be shy about that. Everyone need a helping hand every once in a while.
In an effort to look good and responsible in the eyes of people, working parents often fail to realize that their family and friends could have gone through what they are facing. So it is hard for them to just open up and ask for a helping hand. The worse thing that can happen when you ask for help is get no for an answer, so why not just take you chances.
Be sensitive. Pay attention to red flags and adjust accordingly
As you try building a successful career and maintaining a healthy relationship with your family, it is possible to sometimes miss little details that should warn you that something is going wrong. These are what I call red flags. It could be your performance or motivation at the office slowly dropping or your kids becoming withdrawn and cold towards you. If you are paying attention, you will see warning signs like this from time to time. Take them as an alert to figure out where you may be going wrong and then make a change.