Did you know that roughly 60% of American households include both parents working full time?
When you love your family and you love your job, it can often be difficult to find that precious (and much needed!) balance between the two. As a working parent, you carry the demands of your job during the day as well as the attention your family and house require when you come home. It can be a very tiresome journey where many feel they are not performing their best in either situation. Yet, it doesn’t need to be this way! There are some simply strategies you can implement to bring better balance to your career, your home, and your life!
Adhere To a Schedule!
Studies find that when it comes to balance, failing to plain truly is planning to fail. Planning, preparation, and proper organization can really do wonders in terms of time management. Decide what hours you will dedicate to work and what hours are dedicated to yourself and family and stick to it. Schedule them like you would appointments and prioritize them as you would appointments. Even simple things can help – wake up a little earlier to go work out, organize what you will need for the morning the night before, and always always schedule some time just for you.
Stick to a Bedtime!
When your children know that 8:30 is bedtime, you allow yourself a little time in the evening to unwind, catch up with your spouse, or simply get lost in a good book.
Plan Your Meals Ahead!
Find one afternoon to cook and freeze all your meals for the week. Perhaps this is during naptime or even hire a sitter. It is well worth the investment to prep your meals ahead of time and not have to worry all week about ‘What’s for dinner?’ A good rule of thumb: Find 3 good recipes, double them, and freeze them. Voila! Your week of meals are ready!
One Errand Day!
If possible, plan all of your errands (grocery shopping, gas, bills, housework, etc. on one day each week. This way, not only will these tasks get done, but you also will not have them looming over your head each week. Along with this – RETHINK your errands. It’s okay to ask for help. If you have the resources, hire a housecleaner, personal assistant, or handyman. Remember: You don’t need to be all things to all people!
A Little Time for Yourself Goes a Long Way!
It doesn’t matter what it is – if mom and dad aren’t happy, no one’s happy! Exercise, eat right, and get some sleep. On top of general care, schedule time for yourself each week. Get a mani/pedi, take a bath, meditate, whatever it is you need to do to feel more energized for the demands of your schedule. The return on this investment will far outweigh any inconvenience you might experience short term.