Most parents find it difficult to balance home and work life, but how efficient they can manage this aspect will make a significant impact on your relationship with your family. Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages for each option. If you’re a full-time or part-time employee, you probably:
- Feel happy and satisfied that you’re contributing to society and you are more self-confident.
- Are enjoying a moderate to high economic status level and have less financial problems.
- Have a social life and can make time for your friends.
However, you might also be feeling:
- Guilty that you can’t be with your children or husband more often than you want.
- Overwhelmed with too many paperwork.
- Too exhausted to have a social life or even share coffee time with friends.
- Bitter about your own life and how much tiring it is to do chores at home.
Well, there are no wrong or right options, and these will change at various phases in your family life. If you have a partner, it might not be too hard if one of you manages the house while the other goes out to work, if you are working full time and your partner is doing part-time shifts, or perhaps you and your partner continue to work on both your full-time jobs.
Balancing work and family life is not as easy as it sounds. You want to manage everything, but sometimes you just don’t have the means to be in control of everything. Work and family life balance is indeed what most of us as parents yearn. Several surveys have revealed that a lot of parents want to make changes so work can be easier to handle, even if it means that pay would be lesser. They also know that spending more time with their kids is more vital.
“People focus a lot on time management, but I think in terms of personal energy management. If you have enough energy, you make better use of your time.” – Sandra Lewis, PsyD
It is unfortunate, though, that achieving this balance is quite daunting. In fact, people in the United States work more hours than anyone in Europe or other countries. You may try talking to your boss about your work hours – that’ll surely change something. After all, the smallest change to your work routine can make heaps of happiness for your partner and children.
“When you talk about burnout, you’re talking about three basic things – one of them is, just generally, you’re more exhausted; you’re more lethargic.” – Joseph Rock, PsyD
Here are some simple tips from parents who successfully balanced work and family life.
- Look And Feel Relaxed At Home. If you’re not feeling in the mood, you’ll need to shower and change into something comfortable before sitting down with your kids. They’ll feel it if you’re down or stressed or anxious, and you don’t want that to happen with the little time you have around them. Besides, if you complained to your partner the night before and you keep complaining about it the next day, there’ll be negative vibes at home and work. Stay relaxed, spread good vibes among your family members, and have a wonderful quality morning with them.
- Eat With Your Family When You Can. Eating together is one of the most effective ways of strengthening bonds. It’s a great time to listen to your partner talk about his day, or your kids tell you about school and homework and whatnot. If you arrive home late and you’ve already eaten, just sit with them anyway. You don’t have to do serious talks. Just a chat about what everybody’s up to would be a nice way to connect and bond with each other.
- Try To Maintain Bedtime Routines. Maybe you can brush your kid’s teeth every other day, to bond and also to teach him the proper way of brushing. Bath time would be a wonderful time to do nightly too, watching them bathe while listening to stories about their friends or teachers. Finally, if you have time, try your best to lie down beside them, open a book, or make up a short bedtime story before they go to sleep. There’s just something in a bedtime story that kids feel how much their parents love them.
- Do A Daily Thing Together. This can be as simple as picking up a sibling from school, walking the dog around the neighborhood, or watering the backyard garden. Right after work, let the younger one tag along when you pick up, the older sibling, and then when you’re home, you can go ahead and take them to the park with your pets. You can even sit for a while and maybe make some office-related calls and your children can take a five-minute slide or swing. It may take 15 or 30 minutes or less, but what matters is quality, not quantity.
- Do At Least One Big Vacation A Year. You’ll have to give this to yourself, if not for them. All the stress from work and the busy life of everybody can take a toll on your relationship. Everyone needs a break once a year to unwind and feel alive and stress-free. Christmas would be perfect. Visit the grandparents or go on an interstate trip. Encourage your children to try something new, like skiing or hunting, or even cutting wood for the fireplace. Get a nice cabin where you can safely leave your kids to enjoy their vacation, and you can do quality time with your partner as well. You’ll inevitably end the trip feeling refreshed and energized.
It is important to remember always to enjoy your time with your family. It may not always be a breeze, because they’re not in the mood all the time, and you can’t do as you please because of work. However, you are the parent, and you don’t have an excuse not to try doing what’s best for them. Establishing a healthy, loving family life is one of the essential roles of a parent.
“”We found that being direct about our preferences and ideas is key.” – Jesse Matthews, PsyD