Unfortunately, the lie that you “can’t have it all” follows all parents who are growing both their family and their career. While adding children to the mix certainly does complicate matters, it is not impossible. Achieving a proper work-life balance is the only way to have success in both of these important areas of your life.
3 Rules to Help Parents Find Work-Life Balance
A healthy work-life balance means focusing on your work duties during working hours, but putting those aside once you re-enter family life at the end of the day. Although this is certainly challenging, especially for small business owners, it is not impossible.
Here are 3 rules for parents to implement as they strive towards the perfect work-life balance:
1. Set Healthy Boundaries
The most important rule to implement on your journey to achieving a healthy work-life balance as a parent is to set boundaries. Healthy boundaries will look a bit different for each parent but there are a few guidelines to follow.
First, leave your work at the office (or at your desk if you work from home). Of course, there may be work emergencies that come up from time to time but ensure that you are focusing on your family while you are at home.
Second, allow yourself time to do something that refocuses your attention. Even 30 minutes to yourself to workout, read a good book, watch an episode of your favorite show, or spend some time outside can help you to be fully present.
Although you may see this as “selfish” it is actually a crucial part of setting boundaries for yourself. You can not care for your family if your energy is depleted.
2. Create a Community
The life of a working parent requires a community. Creating a network to assist you both in business and in your home will allow you to focus on the tasks that truly matter. In your work life, delegating tasks such as accounting or payroll services could provide you with a few extra hours each week for your family.
In the same way, finding someone to help you do landscaping, laundry, or pick up your children can allow you to spend some time on your own, doing things that refuel your mind. Additionally, a community of friends and family is crucial to encourage us when we feel overwhelmed or stressed. Although you are likely an independent person, do not feel like you have to walk this road alone!
3. Over Communicate Expectations
Finally, it is important to over-communicate your expectations both at home and in the workplace. At work, make sure that your teammates realize how important your family is to you. Make a list of things that are not negotiable (traveling over birthdays, late nights, etc.) and share them with your supervisor.
At home, make sure your family knows that when you are working, it is important that you are able to focus on the task at hand. Setting these clear expectations will ensure that no one is confused as to where your loyalties lie at that moment in time.
By implementing these rules, you too can work towards a more healthy work-life balance. Doing so will benefit both your professional career and your family in countless ways.
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