“Balancing” Your Work and Your Family

In Lifestyle, Relationships by Elizabeth Stephenson

For a good part of our lives, many of us focus on our educations, attempting to get the best grades we can so that we can get good jobs. Once we find employment in our fields, we work incredibly hard to build careers and to be our best professional selves. However, life does not stand still while we hone our crafts and establish our professional reputations. Relationships happen, marriages happen, and children happen. In addition, separations, divorces, and child custody disputes happen. So as life and work happen concurrently—and not often harmoniously—this begs the question: Is it possible to “balance” your commitments to your work and your family? The answer is: maybe, with some serious planning and a commitment to following those plans.

  • Time Management. Schedule time at the beginning of each week. Close your door at the office, or put on your headphones and dedicate a good hour on Monday morning to charting out your week.
  • At work and at home, think about what tasks and events are the most important to you and put those above everything else.
  • At work, this may involve asking co-workers for help once in a while for non-essential tasks, or if you are a supervisor, learn to trust and delegate your employees. At home, communicate with your partner and your age-appropriate children, about tasks and responsibilities that they can help with at home.
  • Acknowledge that you have limits. It is incredibly easy to push ourselves too hard and burn out. This leaves us less effective partners, parents, and professionals. Recognize that there are only 24 hours in the day, and that it is not physically or emotionally possible to accomplish everything you want to every day.
  • Set your limits. Have honest conversations with your partner and with your employer. If you have a priority that you have dinner every night with your family, let your employer know that and get your work done during work hours, or occasionally after the children have gone to sleep.
  • Make time for your children. Individually and together, make sure that you set aside time with your children. Beyond helping with homework and dinner time, make fun plans or weekly traditions with the kids.
  • Leave time for your partner. Over time, it becomes easy to fall into a pattern where your life revolves around your work and your routine with your children, while your relationship with your spouse falls to the wayside. Many marriages dissolve once children reach an age where they are more independent and naturally spend more time with friends or keep to themselves. Plan dates and activities for the two of you, and communicate that you would like similar efforts from your partner.
  • Don’t forget about yourself. If you are carrying guilt for focusing too much on work or vice versa, forgive yourself. Guilt is a big emotional burden. Remember that you are human and you are trying your best. Just keep doing your best and continue to move forward. Make plans to relax and occasionally do something nice just for you.

New Direction Family Law

New Direction Family Law is a family law firm that handles separations, divorces, child custody, and child support cases. We care about our clients and take pride in offering an attentive, compassionate attorney-client relationship. Our experienced attorneys will provide strong, effective legal advocacy to make sure that your voice is heard and your rights are enforced. Call New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule a consultation, or contact us at our website.