Being a working parent can be tough going. In a sense, you are living two lives, as you have to have your professional work life, as well as your parenting life back at home. Though for many it can be hard to distinguish between the two and life can get pretty hectic and crazy. While there can be a lot of things on your to-do list, it doesn’t mean that life has to be crazy and you are feeling like you’re never catching a break.
If your life seems to be constantly on the go, then it sounds like you’re in need of finding a greater life balance. You can then be the best professional you can be, as well as the best parent that you can be, without having to feel stressed out. Here are some tips to help and some steps to think about.
In order to get your work and life balance off to a better start, it is a good idea to set yourself some boundaries and expectations about how things are going to work. For example, after your workday, it could be a good idea to get home and change out of your work clothes. Having five minutes on the journey home to leave work behind, mentally more than anything will mean that you can be present and enjoy the time with your family so much more. If you’re stressing about something at work, then it means you’re not focused on your family or friends.
The same goes for being at home; make a pact with yourself that you will be more present when you’re at home and only deal with work things at certain times. It will make your work and home life much more enjoyable when they aren’t merging or impacting each other too much.
Find a Stress-Buster
If you can find something in your life that helps you to beat stress, then it can be really helpful. It could be anything from going for a walk, doing some yoga, or a craft that you love. Find what helps, what you enjoy, and make sure that you practice it regularly. Injuries, much like common soft tissue injuries can put a stop to this kind of thing, though. So make sure that you are exercising safely, and being mindful of others around you. Sometimes their negligence can be the problem and it will bring your stress levels back to square one.
Don’t Boast Being Busy
We all have life admin and bits to be doing all of the time. Life can be full of to-do lists and things that need to be done. But in reality, we don’t need to be checking things off our lists from the moment we wake up until the moment that we go to bed. Being ‘too’ busy shouldn’t be a badge of honor. When you’re constantly on the go, it can lead to burnout and a depletion of energy. That isn’t to say that some things aren’t worthy goals or worth checking off. But it simply means that some mindfulness can go a long way. Take time to just ‘be’ and it can help you to deal with life better. You don’t need to constantly be on the go or thinking of all different ways to multitask.
Apply For Flexible Working
More and more businesses are getting on board with flexible working, and it has got to be a good thing. When people are restricted in how they work, it can be really damaging as it doesn’t offer a good work and life balance. How many times have you been at your desk at work and really been dealing with the ‘life admin’ that you have, rather than the job in hand? This happens more often than not, simply because there isn’t a good balance between the two. So having some flexible working can be a help in more ways than one. It will increase your productivity as when you’re at work, you’re really at work and not focused on other things.
If your employer isn’t yet on the flexible working trail, then it can be a good discussion to be having, and putting a case forward for what you can offer. The old-school ‘butts on seats’ mentality isn’t needed in a lot of businesses. And it doesn’t need to be constantly working from home. But some flexibility that if you need to collect the children from school, you can do so but get back to work at home later in the evening. It has got to be worth a try for better work and life balance.
Keep To Work Hours
We are very blessed in this day and age to have the technology that we have to help us get our work done more easily. But while it can be a blessing, it can also be a curse. It means that we are never far away from emails or notifications of things that we need to do or things that we need to act. For instance, if you work part-time, don’t feel like you have to respond to emails on your days off, just because you have your phone or laptop at home. Those days are not your working hours! The same goes for at weekends or evenings; unless you have an urgent project to get done, switch off the laptop and step away from the phone. You don’t need to be working at times that aren’t normal working hours.
It takes some conscious effort to make a difference in how you approach your work and life balance. But doing so, setting yourself some boundaries, and making some changes is going to help a lot. You’ll be more productive in both areas of your life, and be able to get more done. So it is worth investing in your time to make an effort to improve the state of things. While your workload will most likely be the same, your attitude, stress levels, and happiness can be much improved.