Tools For Learning

Inspiration for Parents & Educators

Find a Better Work/Home Life Balance

on May 24, 2013

Juggling work and family life is a constant struggle for more and more working moms and dads. If you don’t quite believe me, check out www.CareerBuilder.com for some shocking results of the Annual Mother’s Day Survey which includes current data on how much parents’ work life is taking a toll on family relationships.

Most of the time, moms and dads work on “overload”. Effective and efficient parenting takes time, sustained inerest, and effort. At the same time that parents’ working hours are increasing, emotional problems are on the rise among children. We live in an age of blurred boundaries and vanishing time. The “art of parenting” suffers in this type of existence. As a parent, you need to learn to get this important balance of work and family time in proper perspective by following some doable suggestions from a mom who’s been there.

On the home front start by:

Turn off the cell phone if only for an hour during dinner with your family. Appreciate what is going on daily in each others’ lives.

Turn off the computer and TV. Play with your kids. Listen to them.
Engage in some quality time with them that require parent-child interaction.

Set certain time periods, they don’t have to be lenghty, when you can can enjoy one-on-one time with each of your kids. Remember, that quality beats quantity all the time!

By going through these motions, you will be consciously willing yourself to slow down by talking with and most importantly listening, really listening to your kids.

At work, consider these suggestions:

Explore alternative work arrangements, perhaps a flexible schedule: coming in later or leaving earlier, and working through lunch.

Learn to say “no” and don’t feel guilty about it. You can’t possibly do everything. It is extremely important to manage your workload without taking on additional duties, and ask for help when necessary.

Get organized. Prioritize what needs to be done at work and at home. Do what’s important first. If you run out of time, you’ll get to those other lesser things of imortance at another time, when you’re not experiencing a time crunch in your busy schedule.

Simplify your life. Create balance. A good idea is to write dowm all the activities in which you and your children are involved. With your kids’ input, rank these activities from the most beneficial and desired to the least important and not so desired. Estimate how much time it would take for the top five to seven activities. Include practice, preparation, and travel time.

You must consider another vital factor: the value of each activity. Tutoring and enrichment classes improve self-esteem. Sports can help advance self-concept and team building skills, and can encourage good health and longevity practices. Music and art lessons stimulate an interest in and an appreciation of the arts, creativity, confidence, and high self-esteem. Take time from your extremely busy schedule to plan a more balanced one for you and your kids. If you do so, you will secure a plan that will not frustrate you or them. It will, also, definitely prepare you today for tomorrow’s success in a more, resourceful, calm, and timely manner.

Above all celebrate your life! Carve out some “me time” either by establishing quiet, calm time in your daily routine, or by engaging in a favorite pastime. Either can be very beneficial and energizing, especially when your physical and mental energy is depleted due to the many demands of your over-loaded schedule.

Then take a deep, long, breath and enjoy your new, more authentic, and balanced lifestyle!

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