Balancing your career with your family is never easy. More often than not, sacrifices have to be made.
For some moms, their professional lives take precedent as long as they don’t miss on out the key moments. But for others, it’s about being there for the little moments and fitting work around their kid’s schedules.
The point is, it’s rarely ever a 50/50 balance.
And it shouldn’t be. It should be about finding a mix that’s most satisfying for you.
Bearing that in mind, I’ve put together a few tips to help you strike that magic balance that works for both your professional and family life.
You might want to also check out Why Flexjobs is a Good Option for Moms
Leverage the People Around You
This is critical for striking a healthy balance between work and family time. And you need to start this process with your partner before enlisting anyone else.
Sit down, get your planners out, and start assigning responsibilities to each other.
Of course it’s not fair for you come home from work and have to grab the groceries, feed the kids, take them to soccer practice and then put them all to bed afterwards.
Don’t let your spouse or partner off the hook on everything. Look for opportunities where responsibilities can be shared, meaning it’s not all on you to make it happen. It’s really important that partners pull their weight too.
If you are a single parent, or your partner is frequency away with work (e.g. military), leverage your family and friends.
Most grandparents love spending any time they can with their grandchildren. And friends will always lend a hand if you can help them out with something in return later down the line.
By delegating and sharing responsibility, you can relax and focus more in your professional environment, and cherish the moments you spend with your kids even more.
Evaluate Your Career Objectives
Part of finding a satisfying mix of professional and family life is by evaluating what you want to achieve in the workplace.
Take the time to reflect on what it is you do for a living, and whether you really enjoy it.
If you hate going to work every day, then you may want to shift your balance to increase the time you spend with your kids. This will help to offset the misery of grinding away, week after week, to collect a paycheck at the end of the month.
Alternatively, it might be time to take up a new role that helps you better balance your dual roles, even if it means a slight pay cut as a result.
If you find yourself in the enviable position of loving what you do for a job, you may want to start setting goals for where you want to be by a specific date in the future career-wise.
You can then use your leveraged network as described above to put in the necessary hours at work to get that promotion or that raise that you’ve set yourself as a target.
Let Kids in On Your Decisions
Part of the struggle of being a working parent is the feeling of guilt that accompanies missing key events in your young children’s lives as a result of work.
After all, when working full-time, it’s almost impossible to be at every single school sports match, dance recital, family dinner or school play.
But that guilt can be mitigated by involving your kid(s) in striking a balance that works for the both of you.
As parents, we can’t always tell what is important to our children.
We may think that they really appreciated your help with building that model for the science fair, but they would have much rather that you attended their piano recital the following week.
While young children may not quite understand the concept of work, they do understand what is important to them. Sit your child down and be honest and upfront with them about what you have time to attend and be a part of.
This way the decision is in their hands, and you’ll never miss something that is really important to them.
It will also teach them the important life skill of prioritization from an early age.
Finding balance is about prioritizing what’s most important to you
Getting a balance of family and work life is an ongoing process. It’s not something that should be set in stone.
For example, work may be low on the priority list when your kids are especially young. But, it may start to take precedence once they reach school age.
Hopefully you can utilize some of the tips I’ve provided to end up with a mix that you’re completely satisfied with.
Do you have any tips for juggling your job and your family? What worked for you?
Share your stories in the comments below!