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Work & Family: Finding the Balance by June
The demands of work and family take their toll on many of us. A fine balance
is needed to deal with it all. Find ways to keep the scales at an even keel
without pushing yourself to the limit.
the hardest tasks we all face is finding balance in our personal and work lives.
When kids are involved, the juggling act gets even tougher. High costs and
social economics make it important for most parents to work. Both parents. For
dual-career families, the balance between home and work is shaky at best.
Luckily, many companies are aware of this issue and may have work-life programs
in place to help their workers find balance in all aspects of their lives.
Quality daycare in the workplace, flexible schedules, job sharing and
telecommuting are all results of employer-driven work life efforts. These
certainly help, but there are still things you can do to better balance the
different parts of your life.
You, Your Home, Your Work
In virtually every person's life, there are three life areas that need to be
balanced: your personal self, your home life and your work life. To the average
worker, all three of these areas are important. This is the main cause of stress
and tension and downright fatigue that grows as you try to juggle all three at
once. All three areas affect the other. If you go to your job after fighting
with your spouse first thing in the morning, it affects your work. Likewise, if
you have a heavy hard day at the office, it affects how you are at home that
evening. If you go without sleep, both your work and your family may suffer.
degree that you need to divide your attention between all three areas often
depends on your age and stage of life. Young parents focus alot on home life,
often more than self and work. Parents with older children can usually focus
more on their self and work and share the responsibilities of home life with
their growing children. And so on.
Balance is a key ingredient of wholeness. It means an even keel, but not a
static non-changing one. When you are balanced, you are anchored in your self.
Aware of your purpose, plan and vision for your life and your family. It may
seem too difficult, but life can be rearranged to allow time for everything that
is truly important to you.
At work, look for alternative options that fit your lifestyle. Flexible
scheduling, working from home or sharing a job line with another worker could be
your ticket to balancing the work end of the teeter totter. At home, streamline
tasks as much as possible. Spend time with your family to see how the work can
be divided. Draw up a plan that includes all members and work together to both
care for the home and family, and allow each member time for their self.
time is extremely important for life balance. Each day, do something nice for
yourself. It could be as simple as a bubble bath with candles and soft music. Or
a quiet walk by a stream. It doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive. Just
quiet, reflective and something that fills you with contentment. This helps you
meet the demands of both your work and family life in a refreshed and energetic
Sometimes, gaining balance means learning to say the word, "No." If you are
at a stage of life where demands are critical in all areas of your life, you
have to spend your energy wisely. No taking on extra projects unless they are
important for your career. Think twice before doing volunteer work or coaching
the team if you are already up to your ears. You have to ration your energy to
take good care of your family, your self and your career. There is only so much
of you, and so many hours in the day. Neither your family or your employer needs
a martyr. Take on only what you can do with joy and comfort.
We all walk a tight rope these days, gingerly working to keep a steady upper
hand on our whirlwind lives. Keep your priorities straight. To be there for your
family, you need to take care of yourself. Likewise, you need a solid career to
finance your home and expenses. Your workplace needs you to be attentive and
productive. And to feel good about yourself and your life, you need balance in
all three areas. It isn't easy, but you can find that anchor of stableness that
helps you function in a balanced, grounded way. It'll take work, but well worth
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