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How I maintain some sanity in my family life and things to keep in mind when tackling the constant "work-life balance" struggle.
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“Work-life balance.” Do you hear
this phrase all the time but find that it is far easier to say, than to
actually maintain? Life is busy for all of us. Regardless of your particular
work and home commitments - things can just get hectic at times. The
weeks seem to fly by faster and faster and more likely than not, life is not
going to slow down anytime soon.
Since having my daughter, Taylor 19
months ago, I've found that I feel quite a bit different about how I choose to
spend my time. After my maternity leave ended, I went back to work full
time. Within the first two months of
being back at work, I determined that being away from Taylor five days out of
my week was not ideal and I began to dread Monday’s. Graciously, my employer allowed me to drop
down to a 24 hour work week (working one of those days at home). I’ve been working part time for the last 15
months and it has proven to be an amazing balance for me. I feel like I get the best of both worlds. Plenty of time at home with Taylor and just
enough time at work to keep me on my toes and keep my wheels turning. I know
my situation is unique and not everyone has this opportunity; and for that I am
One thing that we are all in control of
is the ability to check in with ourselves and our spouses to determine where we
have capacity to give more and where we may be stretched too thin. When
everyday life feels more like a daily grind of eat, sleep, work, repeat; I
start to get frustrated and overwhelmed. It is paramount to our emotional
health and that of our family members, that we evaluate our current situation
(in terms of hours spent working versus hours spent with family), and determine
whether or not we are truly satisfied. Are
you left feeling like you don’t see your children or spouse as much as you’d
like? Or are you being pulled in 100
different directions and feel like you are constantly treading water to stay
afloat? We only have so much time and
energy to give out each day. It’s
crucial that we keep in mind that time is precious. By prioritizing what is most important to me,
I am able to manage all of my responsibilities more efficiently. I find that I feel much better and more ready
to conquer a work week when I know that all of my tasks and duties are
attainable, and will still leave me
with plenty of time to spend with my family.
I wish each week could be like that.
When the weeks get crazy in my household, here are some small ways I carve out extra quality time with my loved ones:
Unfortunately, the culture in North America doesn’t always support the ideology that family should be put
first and work, second. In order for us
to be successful and provide for our families, we often have to put our
families second, third or even last sometimes.
Every so often, something traumatic
will happen to someone I know, or I will read an article that makes me think twice
about the work-life balance maintained in my family. But why does it
take hearing about these isolated events and awful stories in the news to put
things into perspective for us personally?
It shouldn’t be that way. A healthy balance is a work in progress for me,
but it is something that I believe is truly important and key to a happy home
I live in Issaquah, WA with my husband, Mike and daughter, Taylor. I've lived in the greater Seattle area my entire life and have a strong love for all things Pacific NW. I work part time at a commercial real estate investment firm and spend the rest of my week at home, with Taylor. I
enjoy staying active and being outside whenever the Seattle weather
permits. From walks to hikes, to farmers
markets, to park play-dates; Taylor and I like to keep busy during the week.
I believe that life is short and nothing is guaranteed so I do my best to live every day to the fullest and really try to focus on what is most important to me: good friends and family.
The most important thing is to really be in the moment when you're there with your family. I know stay at home Mom's that pay less attention to their kids than Moms that work 40 hours a week. In my experience, when you're there all the time it's easy to take that blessing for granted and not spend quality time with the kids, whereas people who are forced to be away make the little bit of time they do have really count.
Posted by GeanieMarie on Nov 3 '14, 8:56 a.m. |
| Flag as abuse
Learning to not 'over commit' is a big one for me. I too struggle to find the elusive work-life balance, and putting stop gaps on my time has been a great help.
Posted by Annie on Nov 6 '14, 11:52 a.m. |
| Flag as abuse
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