Maintaining a healthy work and family life, can often feel like a circus juggling act. Far easier said than done.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss why a healthy work and family life balance is actually more about being driven by your innermost desires and how you can take the first few steps to achieve this!
Recognise where your priorities currently lie
The first step in maintaining a healthy work and family life balance, is understanding that there is currently NO balance - Not for long though!
Evaluating where your priorities currently lie is a good place to start when determining how to create a healthy work and family life balance - you need to find out which side of the fence you’re spending the most time on.
A good way to determine if you’re currently more work or family orientated, is to talk to those around you - your kids, your significant other & your work colleagues - and journal out your own thoughts and feelings.
Once you’ve determined which side of the metaphorical fence you’re on, you can take the necessary actions that will allow you to find more of a balance rather than splitting your time unevenly.
TIP: If you find it tough to figure out where your priorities lie, try tracking your time. For a week, track all your time in 30-minute chunks. This activity is quite eye-opening.
It’s not just about spending less time on Facebook or in front of the TV (there’s likely still wiggle room in your schedule even if you don’t do either).
For instance, did you go to the grocery store several times because you forgot items? Did you take a long lunch instead of using that hour to run a few errands?
Strive for satisfaction, not perfection
Don’t strive for unrealistic goals - telling yourself you’re going to give 100% effort to both your work and family life is unrealistic.
We just don’t have enough room in our day to cram everything in - and yeah, you could try, but we’ll save you the trouble and tell you it’ll only lead to a burn out, where you’ll develop unhealthy habits like binge eating at 8pm or falling asleep watching Netflix on the couch.
After spending eight hours a day at work, it’s hard to muster up the energy to then play with the kids, cook dinner, talk to your significant other about your day, make school lunches for the following day and have time to unwind… somethings gotta give or you’ll be the one that takes a fall.
The trick for maintaining a healthy work and family life balance is to understand that satisfaction is far more important than a perfect 50/50 lifestyle - shift the weight back and forth and be comforted knowing that you physically can’t have it all.
Allowing yourself to spend your time where you want to spend your time - Humans need, and want, a satisfying experience of life.
There’s no need to constantly go overboard
Have you noticed that your kids need more attention? Resist the urge to swoop everyone off on a grand outing or begin a big craft project.
When our kids need us, it can be a sign that they need comfort, a sense of stability, or one-on-one time with you. It doesn’t take much for them to feel entertained.
Like parents, kids get burned out too. They feel stressed and overwhelmed, especially with jam-packed or ever-changing schedules. Downtime is important for their well-being, just like it’s important for adults.
When we go overboard creating extravagant memories, it’s often out of guilt and making up for lost time. What kids really need is one-on-one time where they’re the sole focus. Read a story, play a game, or just sit and talk.
Communication leads to happiness
Taking on these new lifestyle changes can be great in the beginning, but to truly maintain any habit, communication is key.
Make sure you regularly check in with your significant other and your kids, to discuss how they feel about your presence at home and to ensure you stay on track with your new lifestyle changes
You should also check in regularly with your work colleagues and even your supervisors to ensure that your work is up to standard and that you’re mentally and emotionally fit for the job.
When you reach points of exhaustion, or guilt or anger, remind yourself that your inner circle is there to help you - lean on your family and your friends for support too.
In the end, maintaining a healthy work and family life balance, is all about making choices and sacrifices that will leave you satisfied - Live up to your own expectation of happiness, not somebody else's.