Long gone are the men would go off to work and be the breadwinners, and the women would stay home with the kids and take care of the house. Nowadays, women make up over 55% of the workforce. This is wonderful for those ambitious women who want to pursue a career, but for those who also have a family, it means having to take extra care to balance them both without burning out. This can sometimes feel impossible, as though there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. However, with these 8 tips, you’ll become a pro at juggling your job, your kids, your partner, and even a social life.
1. Build a Block Schedule and Stick to it
It might sound intense at first, but you should block out your days by the hour. This way, you break up your day into sections and are clearly and calmly able to do what you need to do within timeframes without worrying about neglecting a task or a dance recital. You’ll find yourself able to get your work done, eat your lunch, get home at a reasonable hour, and even have scheduled family time. These blocks can be moved around if one day you have to work an hour late, so you can rearrange your time without worrying about missing anything else important.
2. Take a Short Transition Period When You Get Home Everyday
It’s easy to walk in the door after a long day’s work and jump right into cleaning and cooking and catching up with your family, but we say resist the urge. Let everyone in your household know that those first 10-20 minutes when you walk in the door are your time to decompress from work and peacefully make the transition to home. This will allow you to consciously leave work at the office so you can give all of your love and attention to the people at home. You will also be grateful for the few minutes of well-earned quiet time before the other work begins.
3. Get On a Good Sleep Schedule
This one may sound obvious, but many people’s habits directly affect their sleep in a negative way. Try and stop all screentime at least an hour before you plan to sleep, and get in bed at the same time every night. Having a proper bedtime is good for everyone involved, and will ensure that you can get up feeling refreshed each morning, with the energy to get to work, complete your tasks, and get home without dragging yourself through the mud. Your kids will benefit too, as they have similar battles in the classroom.
4. Set Boundaries For Your Work
There is always another paper to file or another transcript to read over, and there always will be. It’s up to you to set firm boundaries about when work is done. This means you should set a time that you are leaving the office, and actually leave. Try not to bring any work home with you (this is sometimes unavoidable, but it might be worth staying another half hour at the office to finish something, instead of bringing it into your family home). Set firm boundaries with yourself and your coworkers, so that everyone is clear on when it’s time to pause your job for the day.
5. Set Aside Time To Spend With Your Partner
Spending quality time with your partner often falls by the wayside when you throw kids and jobs into the mix, but you mustn’t let it. Have a weekly or biweekly date night, planned in advance, and stick to that plan. If something comes up, be sure to reschedule it and not leave it hanging in limbo. Showing your partner that he or she is still a priority is essential to keeping your family happy and feeling loved.
6. Set Aside Time To Spend With Each Child Individually
Just like with your partner, you want to make sure that your kids feel more important than your job or cleaning the house. Family time is wonderful, but you should also try and set a “mommy and me” time to keep that close relationship with each one of your kids. What sometimes happens is that children get grouped together as “the kids”, and their individual needs to feel met. Try to have a monthly date with each of your children and choose something they would like to do with you.
7. Limit Time-Wasters On The Job
Those coffee breaks and water cooler chats really start to add up at the end of the day when you realize it’s almost the end of your shift and you still have so many tasks to finish. Although it’s nice to have a relationship with your coworkers, try to limit the little small-talks and coffee chats so they don’t end up taking away from your time with your family after work. Your coworkers will definitely understand.
8. Have a Morning Routine
Sometimes mornings can feel like the most hectic time of the day when you and your partner are running to get yourselves ready for work and the kids ready for school without missing the bus. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Have a timed schedule set up for the morning, including doable tasks for each family member (maybe one child can set the table for breakfast while another packs lunches). This will give the kids a sense of responsibility, as well as give you yet another opportunity for family bonding in a relaxed environment. It’s really a wonderful way to start the day if done correctly.