Parents who have to find a balance between work responsibilities and family time often find it challenging. You want to do well at work and progress in your career but you also want to be there for your children. When things go wrong at home, you may think you aren’t spending enough time there. However, if you weren’t employed, you wouldn’t have been able to find a payday loan to handle that family emergency. You can feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.
How to find balance is a very personal decision but it helps to set some priorities. Don’t feel guilty about wanting to have a career or feeling the urge to focus more on your family. Consider all the available options to ensure you’re satisfied on both fronts.
Determine whether changes can be made to your work lives
Married or cohabiting parents may find it useful to have a serious conversation about whether they should both work outside of the home. Maybe one parent can work while the other stays at home. Alternatively, one parent could work full-time while the other works part-time. Work from home jobs or flexitime arrangements are also possibilities. Working out an arrangement can help make sure at least one parent is always there for bedtime and mealtime.
Avoid Taking Work Home
Work can be very stressful and it is easy to go home and complain about missed deadlines, frustrating coworkers and your packed schedule. It is also easy to find yourself responding to calls and emails at the dinner table or working on a document instead of putting your child to bed. Going off the grid may be difficult depending on the field in which you work. However, wherever possible try to carve out a period of the day when work is off-limits.
Take a break between work and family
After you leave the office, take a few minutes to shower and change or go for walk to clear your head. Spend time with your children when you are in a more relaxed mood so you don’t unintentionally pass on your stress. Even if you just have an hour to help with homework or chat about your days, it helps if you’re in a good frame of mind. Self-care is important so you can give your best to both your career and your family.
Make time to eat with your children
You may not really be able to share every meal with them but try for either breakfast or dinner each day. Feel free to determine what works best for your family. If your children are older, you can have a light snack with them later at night before they go to bed. Talk about your day, sports, current affairs or whatever comes up. Some of the best bonding sessions are unplanned.
Set aside one special night per week
If your family’s schedules are particularly conflicting, you may need to schedule a weekly activity. This can happen if you often work late and your children have lots of extracurricular activities. Pick a night that works for you and do something the kids like. You can play games, watch a movie, walk around the neighbourhood or just relax and chat. Younger children will enjoy story time. In any case, the time you spend together is more important than the actual activity you do.
Juggling home and work is a challenge many people face but many come to satisfactory decisions. Only you can find the balance between your career aspirations and the best interests of your family.
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