How to Create a Balance as You Juggle Work and Family
By Sandy Schroeder
Most of us know there is no magical formula to create a perfect balance between work and family, but we wish we could. Perhaps the best we can do is watch for ways to make it better.
For starters, here are six things parents suggested on familylives.org.uk.
Create a transition from work - When you come home, just take a few minutes to sit and reflect. Then shower and change. Making that transition helps you let go of work issues as you create a whole new mood with your kids. Give them your full attention and enjoy a few hours as you wrap up the day.
Sit down to dinner - If you can manage to be there to eat with them, it can be a great time to hear about their day. Turn off phones and listen. If you are able to be there most evenings for dinner you may find them bringing things to share and questions to ask you. It may be the one time of the day when you can really talk. It may also prove to be useful to find out what is going on with your kids and spot problems when they first show up.
Share the evening tasks - As you walk the dog, water the plants, or straighten up the house, get your kids to help. They may enjoy helping, or want help with homework, or advice on a project.
Find special things to share - Every family has favorites. It could be pets, music, sports, cars, gardens, or other projects in the garage. Kids will be drawn to the ones that interest them, and wise parents can take it from there, building on these interests. Sometimes special interests begin when kids are small and keep right on going and become family traditions for kids and grandkids.
Create a quiet time before bedtime - Letting go of all of the commotion of the day, and keeping the house quiet before bedtime helps kids slow down and unwind. A regular time for stories, baths and talking can be reassuring for the child, providing time to talk and confide. You will know the time is important to them when they show up carrying their favorite books.
Set aside one night that’s theirs - Let each member of the family pick the event and then reserve that night each week for family. Movies, ice cream, pizza or games may be the choice, providing one more way to spend a little extra time with family.
Creating a balance between work and family may always be challenging. Some days we may pull together flawlessly. On other days we may stumble a bit, but kids will know if you keep trying, and that’s what counts.
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