Balancing Family Life with Work
I firmly believe this idea of balancing family life with work is a myth. There is no perfect balance to be achieved here. Anyone who says they have this sorted and can perfectly balance it all is either lying to you or lying to themselves.
That being said, I do think there are some things we can do to make this easier on ourselves! I’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) I receive from women just like you, and I want to address this topic by answering some of those for you here.
How do you set boundaries between work time and family time?
- It’s essential to set times that you will start working and stop working! Especially if you work from home all the time, you’ve got to act like you would at a brick & mortar job: clock in, clock out. These times can adjust as needed based on seasons, family events, and appointments, but maintain the boundaries you set.
- Schedule your family time like you would any other appointments – then make sure you keep them.
- Flexibility is key. If you have to swap your working times around due to unexpected doctor appointments, your kid’s event, etc., be kind to yourself. You don’t always have to overcompensate by working more hours later!
If your kids are little and at home, how do they know it’s your “work time” and what do you do with them while you’re working?
- One of my favorite strategies and tips came from Emily Schwalbach: “All screens on, all screens off.” If I need to get work done on my computer, we all get to use screens at the same time. Turn on a show or movie, hand over the tablet that has those educational games that keep you from feeling too guilty… you get the idea. Then when it’s time for a break, I make sure to put my screen away for a while, too.
- Take advantage of the times when your kids are sleeping! Early mornings, nap time, and just after bedtime might be the only moments of quiet you get, so take advantage of them! If you have the option, it’s also great to arrange a half or full day of childcare when possible.
- Trade childcare with a friend! I had many years when I couldn’t afford to pay for childcare, but I had friends who also had kids. They were thrilled to take a child-free trip to the grocery store once in a while, so it worked out well to take turns watching each other’s kids.
How do I keep mom guilt at bay when I feel I’m not doing enough as a mom?
A similar question that falls under this is: What should I do if I’m working and can’t make an event I want to be at for my family (or should I just not work?)?
- “Enough” is not one of my favorite words. I would love to know – who sets this bar?? At what point do you actually achieve “enough” status?
- God is enough. I’m just doing my best and praying for Him to fill in the gaps.
- Need a practical step to take? Go back & listen to Episode 17 on Identifying Priorities. This should provide some clarity on how to filter which tasks are truly urgent and important!
- Instead of feeling shame, turn your Mom Guilt into Holy Confidence. Allow your kids to see you pursuing big dreams, working towards goals, and being brave. Tell them what you do and why it matters! It’s important for them to hear about the purpose of the work itself and the financial contribution you’re making to your family.
- A better question might be: What example are we setting for our kids to follow?
None of us are perfect, sis. No one has this completely figured out.
We’re all just doing our daily best – and I’m proud of you!