Balancing family and work are challenging for nearly every family. It can feel overwhelming to strike the right balance between your responsibilities. But managing your time well can help you cope and make sure you are prioritizing your family’s needs.
Get Your Priorities in Order
When you work and have kids, you can’t do everything, so take some time to consider what is important to everyone. You might feel you are already juggling multiple goals and tasks, from being successful in your career to staying involved with your kids’ lives to spending time with your significant other. You may also want to be involved with the community, make sure you are staying fit, or even further your education. Each of your priorities takes energy and time, and they can conflict if you take on too many. Think about what you value the most and prioritize based on this.
Ask for Part-Time or Flexible Work
Having more flexibility in your work can reduce the amount of stress on your household. Working fewer hours frees up time for other responsibilities. Of course, working less might mean you don’t have as much financial freedom, but it could greatly impact your quality of life. It’s important to consider what you value most.
Do you value being more involved in your kids’ lives or being able to buy a bigger home? There are ways to make part-time work more financially feasible for your family. Look for ways of cutting other expenses. You might start shopping more store brands or eat simpler meals and snacks. You may also look to refinancing student loans to cut down your monthly payment. While each of these things might seem small, combining them makes the savings add up.
Plan as Much in Advance as Possible
Many people are busiest during the work week, so take some time to prepare before Monday. Keep an updated family calendar of where everyone will be, and make sure this is within easy access. You might consider planning meals for the week, so you don’t have to worry about making that decision during a busy day. If you have time, consider making meals ahead of time and keeping them in the fridge so all you must do is heat them up. If you work from home or are at home during the lunch hour, take some time to pull some ingredients together for that night’s meal.
Get Support When You Need It
You can’t do it all by yourself, and you shouldn’t try. It’s important to have a support system when you need it. If you don’t have other family members in town, you might ask friends, coworkers, or even neighbors if they would be willing to help when you need it. They can be someone for your kids to call if they need help and you are not available. Don’t be afraid to share issues with your support network, especially other friends who are balancing family and work. You can get ideas from each other and take turns taking kids to school if you live close.