From the moment we become adults, we try our hardest to balance our work and our lives. We need to make time for meetings, friends, family, health — the list is neverending. With the responsibility of children added to our list, the balancing becomes an uphill battle.
Being a parent is very rewarding — and extremely challenging. But finding the right balance doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can have both a family and a sanity-saving work-life balance, all while achieving the healthy lifestyle you desire.
Here are some tips to help you successfully balance work and family — especially with summer break right around the corner. 😉
The Main Effects of a Work/Life Imbalance
Having a poor work-life balance can lead to extreme exhaustion. But as we all know, being a parent and keeping up with children can also cause a lot of fatigue. So, how do you know if you’re truly facing an imbalance in your work and life?
Here are some signs of a poor work/life balance:
- Emotionally distanced from your children or spouse — because you’re not spending as much time with them as you’d like.
- Shorter temper — you have a limited tolerance towards every aspect of your life, including your family.
- Poor health — you’re overwhelmed and can’t find the time for self-care or even to eat three meals a day.
- High stress levels — you get stressed and feel overwhelmed quicker than usual.
- Poor sleep — you lie awake at night worried about how tomorrow will look.
- Feel like you’ve lost time — especially with family and friends.
If you’ve realized your work-life balance needs some adjustments, you’re not alone. Most people, especially these past few years, have struggled to find a balance between their work and family.
But we’re here to help! There are some simple steps you can take to lower your stress and improve your work-life balance today!
9 Tips to Help You Balance Work and Family
The school year is almost over! Your kiddos are gearing up to spend more time at home. But that doesn’t have to mean more stress for you.
We've got just the tips you need to find the right balance between spending time with your child and maintaining a career without losing your cool. Here are 9 suggestions for a better work/life balance you can start using now.
1. Don’t Strive to Be Perfect
Just strive to be present. We aren't meant to be perfect, and our children don't expect us to be (even though they swear we have all the answers!). Perfectionist tendencies in your work and life can quickly cause burnout and self-neglect. Be present in the moment as much as you can — no more, no less. It doesn't take much for your kiddo to feel seen and connected to you.
2. Time for Work and Time for Family
Make designated times for your work and your family. This is a challenging one, especially if you work from home.
Schedule time on your calendar specifically for working time and off time. This will help you be more present in the moment, whether it’s during work or family time. Bonus tip — put your phone away and try completely unplugging from work when you switch to family time.
3. Set Priorities
As a working parent, you juggle many roles: the role of a spouse, parent, worker, friend, and more. It can be hard to please everyone and be there for everything *every time.* So, take a step back, think about your values, and set your priorities. Choose ones you can be proud to have and do your best to stick to them.
4. Make a Weekly Plan
Prepare for the new week before it arrives. You can put a family calendar in the living room or on the fridge. This is perfect for letting your family know what to expect based on your schedule. If dinner plans stress you out, you can even meal plan on that calendar (and invite your child to help).
While you work, you can also have your child complete some activities near you. Little ones can mimic your work ethic and feel they're working too. For some hands-on, educational, and fun activities, shop our online store. We have crafts and activities to keep your child busy and entertained for hours, whether they’re preschoolers or teens.
Keep in mind you don't always have to always be planning elaborate activities or outings for your child. Summertime is almost here, meaning it's the perfect time to take a quick trip to the park or splash pad on a sunny day.
5. Sign Your Child Up for a Summer Camp
Summer camps are a great way for your child to make new friends while having fun. Depending on the camp you choose, your child can continue to learn and grow their skills all summer long. And camp can be a fun way to help your child enjoy the outdoors while participating in fun activities like swimming and team sports.
6. Find the Support You Need
Make sure you have a support system in place to help when you feel overwhelmed or need someone to talk to. If you have a partner, they can be your go-to support person and collaborator. Consider speaking with them to divide tasks and plan for the upcoming week.
If you're a single parent, you're not alone! Talk to your friends or coworkers and build a plan to lighten the load for each other by swapping childcare duties. You can also read helpful blogs providing support, tips, and ideas for activities to do as a family!
7. Schedule Family Time
Scheduling family time is essential to avoiding that stubborn parent guilt. By having scheduled times throughout the week for family time, your children and partner will know what to expect instead of anticipating your arrival all day long.
This can look like:
- Family movie weekends
- Family board game nights
- Sitting down for dinner together
- An hour every other day for fun, hands-on activities
- Doing yoga designed children and families
- Exercising at home with your children
- Playing adventurous video games together
- … and so much more!
It’s up to you what your scheduled family time looks like. You know what your family likes best. And if you’re out of ideas, you can always have your child choose the activity. That’s a guaranteed way to give your child a great time!
8. Share Your To-Dos With Your Child
Keeping children involved in your to-do list is an easy way to keep them happy while spending more time with them. Do you need to create a shopping list? Let them help you! Do you have to wash the dishes? Have them help out (your toddler or preschooler will love this)! It doesn't take much for our children to be content with how they spend time with us.
9. Places to Take Your Child
As a reminder, children don't need a full day of activities planned to be happy. A stroll out of the house is often enough to boost their mood, calm their tantrums, and fulfill their needs.
Here are some simple places to take your child on days you need to get out but keep your stress low:
- Splash pad
- Indoor playground
- Mini golf
- Bowling alley
Needing a break from your days of planning, work, and activities is totally okay! Whether at home or your local playground, all they need is for you to be present in the moment. That’s more than enough for your child!
Experience the Benefits of Balancing Work and Family
When you create a healthy work-life balance, you'll feel more energetic, helping you better show up for your work and family. Your family will be able to spend more quality time with you, and you'll feel good about your relationships rather than feeling like you've lost time.
You’re a great, loving parent. You can successfully balance work and family — and you deserve it! So, will you start taking these steps? Let us know in the comments. Then follow us on Instagram or Facebook @plbfun and share your favorite tip.
You’ve got this!