5 Tips for Maintaining the Work-Life Balance for Parents
1. Identify Your Priorities
When juggling your children’s new schedules and trying to maintain your old one, there are times when you won’t be able to achieve everything. That’s right, the work-life balance doesn’t mean becoming Superman and suddenly being able to do a hundred things at the same time. It does, however, mean that you have clearly identified your priorities, so you know what comes first and what will be the first thing you let slide, if necessary.
2. Set Boundaries, Eliminate Distractions
When your kids reach a certain age, they can understand the boundaries that you set for them. Therefore, it’s important to talk to your children (who are old enough to understand) about your work hours, how important they are to you, and to only interrupt in case of an emergency. Setting boundaries helps eliminate distractions so you can get more work done in a focused environment.
3. Eat Well, Exercise, and Sleep
On the surface, eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep at night have nothing to do with how you divide the time between your family and work. But dig just a tiny bit deeper and the connection is obvious. When you take care of your body, your mind is the true winner. You are in a better mood, feel better about yourself, and have the resources to make good decisions. This makes you a person who will be better equipped to handle life’s inevitable challenges.
4. Seek Support
People often say “it takes a village to raise a child,” so imagine if you have more than one child and are working at the same time! While most of us don’t live in villages, seeking out support can be the difference between managing and falling apart. At work, seek the support of colleagues who are in similar situations. Ask for advice on how to manage your kids’ schedules and your own work schedule. At home, seek the support of neighbors, friends, and family members who might be able to pitch in. While they can’t relieve you of all responsibility, they can definitely lighten the load.
5. Make Time for Self-Care
When you are constantly vacillating between your children’s needs and your work responsibilities, you sometimes lose sight of yourself. Aside from the obvious problem with this, the other problems are that you won’t end up doing well in either arena. Self-care is a way to maintain your sanity and give yourself the care you need so that you can have the energy and wherewithal to give others what they need.
Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids
The state of parents’ physical and emotional health directly reflects that of their children. So when you’re able to strike a work-life balance that works, you are not only giving a great example but showing your kids how to succeed themselves.