Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Work/Life Balance an Age Old Concept

Work/Life Balance seems like a new concept. Yet according to an article  written  five years  ago in the Examiner It has been a concept talked about since the beginning of the Industrial  Age in the mid 1800's. We Americans have been struggling with this issue for over 150 years. Work/Life Balance is defined as the balance which should exist between our lives in the work place with our personal and family  life.

As a parent educator I speak with many parents about this issue here are some of my tboughts.

  1. You need time to yourself. We all need time to ourselves to regroup and relax our bodies and minds. If you have to put this time on your calendar. Make this a priority, your  life  has no balance  unless you give to yourself first. This is not selfish you are setting  an example for your children in balancing life and work. 
  2. You need time alone with your spouse. Many parents especially  Mom's make the of failing to keep the relationship between  Mom and Dad on the prior list. Let's be honest without the marriage  the family is broken. Our marriage  is  the foundation  of  the  family  protect  and build on? it.
  3. Each child needs some of your undivided time each day. I believe  each child needs at least 15-45 minutes a day of undivided attention from each adult who lives in the house. This is an important part of relationship  building. Children  need time to talk, listen, and ask questions,  without being interrupted. Adults should be solely  focused  on the child during these times. 
  4. Find work you are passionate  about. One of the most important  aspects of finding work/life balance is enjoying  your  job. Going to a job you dislike is draining and can get deprssing. This makes achieving balance much harder. When you love what you do, the joy of doing it makes you a happier  person. The more content you are the easier it is to maintain balance.
  5. If you must take work home make a plan to  work smarter not harder. Working from home after work  can be a non-negotiable  in some fields. The key to balance here is building it into your routine. For instance, if you need to bring work home. Maybe your routine  is Saturday  mornings while the kids watch cartoons you work until noon. Then if you need more time Sunday between 1:30 and 4:30 pm. While the family naps, watches a movie, etc you work. Allowing for Sunday mornings  and  evenings to be reserved  for  family  time. 
  6. Work on focusing on the now. Be present in the moment you are in fully. Most of us have  a hard time living in the moment.  Yet, this is ultimately  the crux of work /life  balance. Being where you are and being fully committed  to  what you are doing in that moment is what this balancing act is all about.
If you think the above six items are much easier  said than done, then perhaps you can understand why we have been stringing with this for 150 years. Humans often struggle  with  the  issue. Try putting the above habits in place and perhaps  consider making these 6 practices your New Year's Resolution  for 2016. Remember  as a parent it is not just about doing this to have more time with your children. It is about being a living example  for them to follow.

Believe  in Parenting

Just after I wrote this piece. I discovered and #womenwhowork. This site has excellent resources to help women with work/life balance!

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