One of the biggest challenges families face across the world is balancing a way to earn money to support themselves while still having time to be a family and enjoy life. While most would love to just enjoy their family all day every day, income is necessary to do so. Others enjoy their work and would feel like they are missing their calling by not having a career they are part of all week.
When a family has to have a parent or two parents working at some point during the week, the goal is to have enough time leftover to be able to enjoy life, have family time and even have a bit of a social life. The biggest question is how to find that balance and keep everybody happy – from your kids to your boss. Here is a look at some tips to strike a balance between family and work.
One place to start is by creating and organizing a calendar for your family. Find out the priorities that need to be included like birthdays and sports games, and then add items like when bills are due, a chore chart and extracurricular activities.
Using Google calendar may make it easier to share and sync to your family’s smartphones, which also helps you when you’re at work and trying to remember upcoming events. Review the calendar on Sundays for 15 minutes to help eliminate surprises each week, and share the calendar with the babysitter so that everyone is on the same page.
Consider placing it at the entryway of your home to stay more organized. Make this a place where everyone can keep important papers, keys and petty cash.
Stay Communicative with your Boss
Staying in communication with your employer or HR representative is important if you want to make this work. Construct a written plan that you can present to let your boss know what you need to balance your work and home life.
Find out if other employees have flexible schedules and use that information to your advantage in the proposal. Every employer is different, but it’s worth presenting to show how you can be more focused on work knowing that you’ll be granted the down time you need to be present with your family.
This may require using vacation time to leave early for soccer games or coming up with a maternity leave plan of absence before your due date.
Stay Connected with your Family
Along with using Google calendar on your phone to stay informed, be sure you check-in with your family throughout the day to stay connected. For young kids, try recording yourself talking or reading along with a book so that your child can hear your voice.
For older kids, put a special note or memento in their lunch to wish them luck with an event you may miss. Call your children during your breaks at work to help them get through the day.
Plan Special Family Activities
If you schedule special family activities for weeknights and weekends, this will help you to build memories together and have things to look forward to. Even if it’s as simple as family breakfast or an after-work board game, find something you can do together.
During family outings, don’t talk about work or use technology. Use this time to solely focus on your family. Be sure to also set aside time for your partner so that you can keep your relationship strong. This will make your kids feel more secure.
Let Go of Guilt
You may feel a sense of guilt at work and at home because it seems like you cannot give 100% in both places. Stop dwelling on how you’re not with your children and think about how your work is benefiting your family. Maybe this money is allowing you to take a family vacation or it allows your children to go to a nicer school or take part in an extracurricular activity. Communicate your feelings to other adults to find support for the guilt, and remember that you can have a balance between your work and home life.
Use these tips to find balance with your family and your work so that you don’t have to miss out on either or feel that you are being pulled in two directions.