The #1 concern I hear all the time for working parents is, “I wish I had more time with my family.” We build loving relationships with our dearest based on the consistent amount of quality & quantity of time we have together. Similar to families, we build successful companies with loyalty, commitment, and being able to listen to what a team needs.
These elements create both happier families and happier employees. We all want a better balance of work and home time. The balance is what makes us healthier, less stressed, and more productive. Yes, we all want to feel we made a big impact for the companies we work for, but we also want to know that in 20 years time our kids will talk about how we were there for them on many different levels as well.
So how do we achieve this balance? First off, we have to be realistic with our expectations. There are only 24-hours in a day, so we need to stop beating ourselves up. Balance is a process. We don’t find it, rather, we observe where we need it and then start carving out. Only you release yourself from guilt if you are honest about what your family needs vs. what they want – kids would rather have your time then material stuff. As even they feel time is far more precious and priceless!
Here are some more key factors that can help you get on the path to achieving a work/home balance that works for you and your family.
Scheduling is key because it creates boundaries, which allow us to spread ourselves evenly (we need time to keep fit, be with the kids, have a date night, etc). Boundaries allow us to FEED our relationships because without it, they wither.
Disconnect from work and be present with your family. It takes discipline. I like to call it #familymode. Tell people, if you get this from me, know I am reading my little one a story and will get back to you. Tech is addictive; it’s like a new class A drug all on its own!
Be flexible. It’s good (and ok) to sometimes put things off till tomorrow. It’s no good being a workhorse that can’t play every now and then. There are times where we see moments where we can bend a little; have the confidence in knowing because you leave on time today rather than staying later, it doesn’t mean you haven’t done your job.
Listen to your kids and partner. What do they need a little more of? Define that, work it out, get the calendar out, and hold your teen kids, partner, and self to it.
Change. We all have to accept the decisions we make for the better. However, if we don’t like these decisions, we change them and accept what those different consequences may look like. Our families evolve and so do we.
Copywritten by Jo Frost