Often we struggle to juggle both work and kids. How do we keep it all in balance? You will have your job for a period of your life, yet you will have your kids for a lifetime. It is a matter of discipline, creative time management, and productivity.
Try these 4 tips:
1) Achieve amazing results at work. Your work cares most about the results you achieve. Your number one goal is to figure out how to achieve the maximum amount of results in the least amount of time. You cannot afford to waste time. You need to be efficient, effective, and results oriented so that you can get to tip #2.
2) Schedule your family events. Schedule family events and important reminders on your work calendar months in advance. Try doing this in December for all of 2011. Establish a discipline and don’t allow yourself to cancel these priority events (sporting events, dinners, awards ceremonies, kids birthdays, anniversary, recitals). Treat them the same that you would a meeting with a customer or your boss.
If a conflict comes up at work, advise that you are not available. Don’t explain why you are not available. Unfortunately, some work environments have adopted a workaholic culture, and if they know why you are not there, they will pressure you into canceling. Let’s face it, you have enough pressure on you already.
3) Celebrate events and create activities. Life requires hoopla. The little things matter. You wouldn’t forget to buy a customer a gift for an important event, so treat your family as the number one priority that they are. You’ve been talking about taking your son fishing yet you never get around to it, schedule a morning to take him. A new kids movie came out and you missed it, rent it and have a movie night at home.
Ask your family for their high/low; the best part of their day and the worst part of their day. Celebrate successes in their lives. Mourn losses with them. Take time to listen and care.
4) Accept and locate help. Recognize that you cannot do it all. You can only accomplish so much in a 24 hour period. Consider smart ways to get help with the things that you can offload. My Personal Valet (www.mpvalet.com) offers personal services for you for the tasks that you can’t get to. Think about hiring an out of work carpenter to do handyman tasks at your house. Hire a college student to do your grocery shopping. Be creative. For family time, you are irreplaceable; for other tasks, you are not the one that has to do them.
I was a single mom for years. Twice a year I would keep my daughter home from school so that we could just hang out. She is 23 now, but she still talks about those days that we hung out together at home. It is about creating focus, having the right perspective and spending necessary time to create memories that will last a lifetime. You can do it, I promise.
by Bethany Williams