Balancing work and family life is tough. Parents frequently ponder the issue throughout our lives.
All of us want to create the best possible life for our children and spouses. But providing for that family and consistently working towards advancing in our career always seems to get in the way.
We watch as we see other families that seem to have it all figured out. How do they do it? What are their secrets?
As we move through the rest of this post, we’re going to show you that successfully balancing work and family is, with a little work, entirely possible. And although it may be difficult, I promise it will be worth it in the end.
Let’s dive in.
1Make the Decision to Commit to Balancing Work and Family Life
This may seem obvious, but it’s truly where the road to a successful home-life balance begins. Regardless of where you are in your life, you and your spouse need to make the conscious decision that you’re going to begin working towards balancing work and family life before anything else can happen.
Once you’ve made this decision, use it to guide the many other decisions that you make in your life. You can start by asking yourself the following questions:
● “Is the job I have too overwhelming?” – If it’s, realize that there are other jobs out there and that the best time to look for a job is when you already have one.
● “How do I spend most of my time outside of work?” – If most of your ‘free’ time is spent commuting to and from work and/or responding to work emails, think about how you can cut down on this time.
● “Are my children happy with how much time I spend with them?” – If they aren’t, try to carve out a hard time everyday that you’re going to commit to being with them.
2Define What Successful Balance Means to You
What does successful work-life balance look like to you? That’s a question that you and your spouse each need to answer for yourselves. Don’t worry about the perceptions of how much you’re ‘supposed’ to work or how much time you’re ‘supposed’ to spend with your family.
Define what a successful home and family life looks like in your eyes. If you’re a working mom, maybe it means only working between 8:30 AM and 6:00 PM so you’re able to take your children to school each day and be back home in time to eat dinner as a family each night.
From there, define what success at your job looks like. How you define each of these should be unique to you and only you. Once you’ve answered these questions, talk about them with your partner, and potentially even your boss, and develop a plan for making success happen in both areas for each partner.
3Create Boundaries Between Work and Family
Even after the work day is technically over, escaping the demands of work is a huge challenge. But it’s possible if you make a commitment to doing so.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg leaves her office at 5:30 PM every single day to ensure she’s home in time to have dinner with her kids at 6 PM. If one of the top executives in a company that brings in hundreds of billions of dollars per year can create boundaries between work and family, so can we.
4Build a Support Network
One of the things that’s important to realize as you’re working towards balancing work and family is that you don’t need to do it all on your own. As much as it may make us uncomfortable to be vulnerable and open up about our difficulties with work-life balance, understand that it’s an issue that every working mom and dad deals with.
Developing a support network is crucial to making it all work. Your support network can include people like:
● Other working parents
● Online support groups
Having people you can count on, even if it’s just to make sure the kids get to their game on time, is absolutely necessary if you want to achieve work-life balance.
5Let Perfectionism Go
As you work towards your definition of what a successful work-life balance means to you and your family, it’s important that you strive for improvement and not perfection. Working towards perfection is unrealistic and will leave you constantly frustrated.
When you work towards constant improvement, however, you’ll become much more satisfied and happy as you progress. Let perfectionism go and focus on the things that you can control as you work towards building a happy home and family life.
6Don’t Give Up On It!
As impossible as reaching a happy work-life balance may seem, it isn’t impossible. Use the steps listed above to guide you on the journey, seek constant improvement, and don’t give up on creating the work and life balance that you and your family have committed to work towards. Good luck!