Can I be honest with you? I’ve been struggling with work and family balance lately. I’m a wife, mother, and business owner. The struggle is real. It’s on-going. That’s just how life is. Yet we continue on this quest to improve every day and some days it works better than others.
I have four active kids at home ages 12-17, and two businesses. I work part-time as a Consultant for a school district and my husband and I own a real estate business. On any given day I’m working our rental property business , consulting with the school district, taking my nephew to work, attending my daughter’s basketball game, driving my son to basketball practice, making dinner, trying to make it to the gym and squeezing in a little me time. I know. I’m not the only one.
With all of these obligations, sometimes it’s difficult to focus. I joke by saying I’m going back to a 9 to 5 job so I can focus without feeling pulled in 5 different directions. Most days I don’t even think about the fact that I’m on the run. I just do it. I enjoy my work and being available to my kids. I know it won’t always be like this and I’ll miss it when it changes.
A friend reminded me that I’ve always been on the go, and that’s how she has known me to be. It’s true, but sometimes it’s too much. So when that happens it’s time to have a talk with myself. That conversation can be summarized in two words. SLOW DOWN.
Managing family and work schedules can be a juggling act. It’s going to be different for each of us because we all have our own unique situations. I’ve created some ways to help me cope with it all. I’m still busy but when I follow my strategies it makes my day to day life easier. I don’t like being unprepared or feeling flustered, so I’ve come up with 6 strategies in no particular order that help me to approach the day with a plan.
- Write down scheduled activities or events for the day in a planner, on a family calendar or electronic calendar. I also set reminders in my phone.
- Create a priority list for the day that includes the tasks that need to be completed for work and the family. If it helps, set a time limit to work on different items on the list.
- Review the next days schedule a day or two ahead in order to be prepared. Sometimes I move things around in order to avoid being rushed or scheduled back to back.
- Recognize each task that is completed no matter how small. Check it off, make a mental note, give yourself a pat on the back and keep it moving. Inch by inch is progress.
- Commit to family time. Stop working and be available to your family after a specific time of day. Being home when my kids get out of school is important to me.
- Schedule a specific day or time of day to feed your spirit whatever that means to you. I schedule some time in the morning and in the evening. I write, read inspirational stuff, meditate or pray. It’s brief but it helps to frame my day.
I’m also a firm believer that self-care is an essential part of our overall health and well-being. We must schedule time to love on ourselves. For me, I enjoy an occasional girls night out, going to the hair salon, reading inspirational books, self-improvement activities, or just watching movies on Netflix. We all need down time.
Peace and Blessings,