BALANCING IT ALL
Working, Parenting & Enjoying a Social Life
Asap a rent, it can be tough to balance everything and sometimes it feels like there just aren't enough hours in the day to achieve everything you need, or want, to do. With the pressures of work, having a social life and being a parent, it can sometimes feel like you have to do everything for, and be everything to, everyone.
The struggle for that “perfect” work/ life balance is real, but is there even such a thing as the perfect balance? I'm not convinced. The key to balancing parenting, work and a social life is knowing that the balance will shift from day to day, depending on priorities, and that this is okay.
For me, the key to finding a balance is to know what I am able to give at specific times, what I need and what is most important. The balance can shift either way and, from time to time, the balance might not feel quite right. What is important is finding out what works for you and your family, just because you don't feel you have the right balance one day doesn't mean you won't the next. To find the right balance for work, parenting and having a social life it is important to figure out what works for you as a family, what is i mportant and what i sn't. It's all about priorities.
For me, as a mom to a nine- monthold, between running my own business and going back to work before Christmas, it is important to acknowledge what is most important for me to do and each day that may be completely different than the last. Taking small steps can help your todo list seem more manageable and it will help the balance work better for you and your family. For example, keep your mobile phone in the other room when you are spending quality time with your family, this ensures that the time spent together is free from distractions.
Planning ahead for meals is also a quick and easy way to make breakfasts, lunches and dinners more straightfor ward and you'll spend less time in the kitchen on busy work days, especially if you can implement using a slow cooker, batch cooking, or freezing meals.
Having that balance comes down to being organized and setting boundaries. Scheduling in date nights, play dates and days out with friends, organizing outfits and uniforms the night before, and setting boundaries for what time you finish work and stop replying to emails and messages. Keeping a family calendar is a super easy way to keep track of what everyone is doing when and where, and to schedule in family time, work time and social events.
When trying to find the right balance for you and your family, it is most important to remember that you need to find what works for your family's specific needs. What works for my family might not work for your family and vice versa. Here are my top tips for balancing parenting, work and a social life:
1. Play to your strengths
– as I mentioned earlier, it can feel like you have to be everything to everyone, you don’t! Focus on your strengths and what you can realistically fit into the time you have.
2. Be realistic
– What can you do in the time you have? What needs to be done and what can wait until next week? Be realistic about what you can achieve and what you actually have time for.
3. Just say no!
– It is perfectly okay to say no to things from time to time. If it is something you want to do, is it really necessary?
4. Set your own rules
– Finding the right balance for you and your family means setting your own rules and finding what works for you.
5. Make time for you
– While we’re busy rushing around, getting things done, trying to figure out the work/ parenting/ social life balance, it can be easy to forget to make time for you. It is vitally important to not lose track of your personal needs and desires. If you aren’t at your best, how can you do anything for anyone else?