Finding a work-life balance can be tough, especially for women. We often have a hard time carpetalizing our lives which leaves us exhausted at work and at home. As years have progressed women have become more financially responsible throughout the household, but are still expected to uphold their motherly duties to the highest degree. We are expected to climb the corporate ladder or find time to get in an extra shift, while also making sure our children have a healthy lunch, something to bring for the bake sale, and are completing their homework on time. This means we need to find more ways to find a balance between our work life and home life while simultaneously considering our own needs.
- Release Guilt! The first step in trying to find a better work-life balance is to let go of guilt. You will never be able to be completely perfect in your own eyes, but that does not mean you need to shame yourself for your short-comings. Remind yourself that you are trying your best and that is simply good enough. Mom guilt is a big deal for women all over the country and world, but there is no benefit in dwelling on the ways you are not there for your child. Think of all the amazing sacrifices you are making to support your children in every way possible. If you feel guilty for being unable to take your child to school because of your work commitments, think of the incredible example of a working woman you are showing to your children. In years to come your children will be able to look back and appreciate all these sacrifices you have made. However, if you are noticing these sacrifices becoming too much for you to enjoy your life, do not be afraid to look at a different career or job choice, or even try to make some adjustments to your schedule so you can be with your children more often.
- Create a Calendar. Now there is some more concrete advice that I could give you rather than emotional advice. For example, try setting up a family calendar where all of your and your family’s priorities are laid out in an easy to read way. This calendar can include the dates when bills are due, your work meetings, recitals for your children, parent-teacher conferences, or any other significant events that happen throughout the month. This will avoid you missing anything important and also reduce any guilt that can arise from forgetting an event. You can use a physical calendar or a calendar on your phone or laptop. It might be beneficial to do a type of calendar that everyone in the family can use, this will keep everyone on track and have your children understand how they could organize their days.
- Stay Connected. Try staying connected to your family during the day and leaving your work alone when you are at home. With new advances in technology there are many ways you can stay connected with your loved ones throughout your day. Try facetiming or texting those close to you, if they are too young you can check in with their caregivers during the day. However, if you feel that this will cause you more guilt or anxiety you can try to completely leave work at work and home at home. There is no shame in keeping your two worlds separate! Hey, men do it all the time…
- Spend Quality Time. Make sure the time you spend with your family is quality. Although the quantity of time may feel insufficient, there are ways to ensure the quality is sufficient. Put away your phone while you are with your family! You may feel you are spending time with those around you, but if you are distracted by your devices then you may not be spending the most quality time as you think. Plan some fun activities, maybe even a weekly tradition you do with those you love… e.g. family movie night. Do something to make you feel connected with those around you, you won’t regret it!