Are you someone finding it hard to find a work life balance? What stops you from having a work life balance?
Ok, firstly let’s start with what a WORK LIFE BALANCE actually is, there are many interpretations of this,
Work-life balance is the relationship between your work and the other important things in your life, like your family, sport and social life, household chores, volunteer commitments and so on. If you feel like you have enough time for all of these things in your life, you probably have a good work-life balance.
There’s no universal formula for work-life balance. It’s different for everyone, because every family situation is different and unique. And it’s also likely to change as your work, family and other responsibilities change.
With realistic expectations, and some trial and error, you’re likely to find an approach that helps you and your family achieve work-life balance in the long term.
You know you are definitely not alone, I can totally relate to you if you are someone who is getting the balance there but not quite right just yet. To be honest this was something which wouldn’t have ever crossed my mind if I didn’t have a baby as I could manage working full time all the time and still have my family time. But once I’ve had my little baby I’ve realised everyone needs more of a work life balance with kids.. it takes time to raise them and bring them up, yet we all have to continue with our jobs and work. You know it’s even more hard when you have a full time professional job which does not go well when you need to be on top of your work. The worst is I am worst obsessed – I LOVE WORKING and hate it say it I LOVE MY JOB. I enjoy what I do on a daily basis and I take control of my work. I’ve never been lazy at work, I’ve never had days off for no reason. I take priority in both my work and personal life. But ever since having a baby I’ve had to take more Work from Home days and also days off to take care of my baby. My priorities have changed, my Son is more important than anything now but at the back of my mind my work is also a priority which I never want to go wrong with. You know no one would realise how hard someone has worked for years to get to where they are in their profession today, it’s not as easy as working for someone you know or family. You can’t just turn up and take days off, you can’t just get a job and get paid, you need to work yourself higher and higher and keep going. You can’t just be pregnant and work from home all the time, you have to go in till due date and keep working hard throughout. Yeah they say you can wfh and you can take time off, but in the back of your mind there is always doubt someone will judge you and someone won’t be happy. Also, you work so hard that your expectations are so high, it is noticeable when you are not there. You don’t have to lie but same time you end up telling the truth or hiding how you actually feel. Till there is a time you come to truths with life, and the need for a work life balance. Work hard and still make enough time for the family. It means not taking a lunch break and putting your all into the hours you have at work so you can leave on time to be with family. You can spend more time with family especially when your baby sleeps at 7.30 and you finish at 6pm, getting home at 7pm. 30mins is all you have to love and hug your baby. This time is valuable time but the end process is all worth it.
It took me a while to get into routine and find myself again. Especially starting at 9months and straight into a full time 8am till 6pm job it wasn’t easy. Thankfully, I’m used to my routine, changes happen daily with a baby but I can handle this. It ook commitment and development, knowing what is right and what is wrong. It took learning and stress as well as moving and taking baby steps same as my son. You have to realise not only are you getting used to so is your baby or children, it will take a lot of change for all to get into a comfortable position and routine, routine also never stay the same, they are continuously changing.
Work life balance – why it is good
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Good for you
Finding a work-life balance means you’re likely to feel:
less stressed and tired
more in control of your time
better able to make decisions and meet commitments
And a well-balanced family life can actually help prevent burnout at work too.
Good for children
To develop and learn, children need warm, loving attention and quality time with you. Quality time is when you’re physically and emotionally present with your child. A work-life balance can help you make this time for your child.
Good for your relationships
Quality time spent together is the building block of all relationships, so a good work-life balance gives you the time and energy to develop better relationships with your child and your partner.
How work and family life can get out of balance
Work can get in the way of spending enough time – and enough quality time – with your child.
The time you spend working is obviously time you aren’t spending with your children. Working long hours might mean that you get home after your children are in bed, or that you leave before they wake up. You might hardly see them during the week. And if you bring work home, this can affect how much time you have with your children too.
Work can also have a negative effect on the time you spend with your children. You might be at home, but your mind can really still be at work. You might be thinking about something that happened during the day, or still focusing on a problem, for example.
Why children need you to switch off from work each day
Children often need your attention most at the end of the day, just when it can be really hard for you to give it. They might want to tell you all the news of the day or ask for your help with something.
And children can have bad days too, perhaps at child care or school. They might need your sympathy or advice, or they might just want you to listen while they get something ‘off their chest’. Younger children are often tired, grumpy or hungry by the time you’re all home. They might just need cuddles.
It can be a difficult juggle when you’re preparing dinner and getting ready for the next day. But it can be worth taking the time to stop, listen and connect with your child. It reassures children that they’re loved, safe and secure – and it might help you all relax and feel better.
When you’re busy, stressed or stretched to the limit, you can easily slip into thinking that paying attention to your child is just another job or responsibility. Instead, it might help to think how wonderful it is to have a child to come home to and share the world with.
New work arrangements for better work-life balance
When you’re a working parent, you might like to consider family-friendly work arrangements. Try to find out what family-friendly policies your employer has in place by looking at your workplace agreement or talking to your workmates. Then talk to your boss about it.
Options might include:
working flexible hours – for example, you might be able to arrive late and work late or vice versa, which can make school drop-offs or family dinners easier
working from home
working fewer hours – for example, by working part time or job-sharing.
It doesn’t matter what your friends do or what other people think you should do – choose the option that’s best for your family.
Changing work habits
When you have children, it might help to rethink your work habits to make it all fit. Here are some ideas:
Review the work day in your mind before you leave work. This can help you shift gradually to thinking about home and family.
If your family and care arrangements allow it, consider staying a little longer at work to finish up a task instead of taking it home. Longer hours might not be the best option in the long term, though.
Try to arrange your work so you take on the most challenging tasks at the beginning of the day, instead of at the end.
Take a moment in your work day to feel connected with your child. This could be as simple as looking at a photo or thinking about a special thing you’ve done together recently. This can help you remember the reason you’re trying to achieve a work-life balance.
Try to set some boundaries around how much work you’ll do at home, including limits on checking and responding to emails or phone calls.
Making the daily switch from work to home
You might feel more ready to connect with your children when you get home if you can ‘put work to rest’ in your head between work and home. Try some of these ideas on the way home:
Turn off your work phone and tune out by listening to music, the radio or a podcast, reading or exercising – try walking or riding a bike home if you can.
Think about ways to make travel time more relaxing. For example, join a car pool, use public transport or walk if your situation allows it.
Switch your thoughts to your child as you go from work to home.
Do a simple mindfulness exercise, perhaps before you leave work or in your parked car.
And settling in for the evening might be easier with these ideas:
Have a ritual or routine to mark the physical, mental and emotional move from work to home, from worker to parent. It can be something as simple as changing out of your work clothes.
Talk to your family, including older children, about the challenges of making the transition, especially during stressful times at work. Help them see things from your perspective, try to see things from theirs, and have reasonable expectations about personal time and family time.
If you work from home, try to keep your work area separate from family areas. Put boundaries in place about start and finish times, and be clear with coworkers and clients about the times you aren’t available.
Ask your partner, or whoever has been caring for your child, to tell you about your child’s day or anything that’s happened that might affect your child’s mood. This can help you get ready to give your child the attention he needs.
Parents in special circumstances – like single parents, or parents of children with disability – might face challenges that make the switch from work to home even more difficult.
But never underestimate your own will power to do it and make a balance for yourself.
Let me know what gets you mist down? Why do you feel different at work? Are you uncared for ?
Talk to me …
Thanks for reading,