Tips to attain Work-Life Balance
- Be gentle on yourself. No one is superwoman although we would like to be. Cut yourself some slack. Think back to basics. Are you all fed, do you have shelter, love and warmth? There are families who aren’t working that do not have these basic fundamentals in life which can be destructive for children who are learning to be in our world. Some may not get a lot of food to eat, have regular shelter or are able to be warm and loved. This breaks my heart. I practice gratitude each day to remind myself that I’m doing pretty well.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Talk openly to people that you care for you. Talk about how you are feeling and coping with life. If you feel that you are not coping well, speak up. It will benefit everyone in the long run.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People who care for you will help out if you need it. You just have to take that first step. Counselling or talking to your GP can also be worthwhile especially if you feel you are not coping well.
- Be honest with your children. They know when something is going on. They pick up on everything!
- Nurture your relationships. It’s tough on your closest relationships. Be kind, be honest and they will maintain themselves.
- Take your leave. We all need a break. If we don’t we are no good to anyone and worst of all to our children. They see it, hear it, breathe it and they know if you are cranky a lot.
- Ask your employer for flexible work arrangements. This can dramatically reduce your stress and give you some balance to suit you and your family. For some workplaces this is not always possible, but it never hurts to ask.
- Don’t feel guilty if your child is sick and you have to stay home to look after them. Your family comes first. This becomes tricky when you have no leave left to take like me. Make sure you have savings (at least 3 months of your income) saved if possible for rainy days.
- Try and have a break and some ‘me’ time when your partner is home. If you do not have one, maybe a close family member or friend. Take in turns of looking after your friend’s kids so you both can have a break at some stage. It will benefit everyone and is a valuable time for strengthening relationships.
- Have some realistic goals and set a time limit. Working towards achievable goals makes you determined and gives you the energy to live through each day with hope of achieving them. And when you do it feels like such a fantastic achievement.
- Pursue a hobby that you are interested in that will fit in with your lifestyle at this point in your life. I love photography but with two young kids and work, I do not get time to spend out and about flashing sunsets. Lucky for me, I have found a love of writing that I am so passionate about. I can do this at night when the kids are in bed. Being able to do this has given me a new perspective on life which l feel gives me more balance in life. I feel more ‘fulfilled’ and ‘happy’ which resonates with my family.
Some further resources
Fiona Chapman is a mum of two beautiful boys aged 1 and 4, who also has extensive experience as a midwife and Child and Family Health Nurse. She is passionate about inspiring and empowering parents on their parenting journey in today’s world by sharing her knowledge and experiences. You can find her on her website Passionate Parenting, or follow her on Facebook.