As busy working parents, it’s critical for our well-being to find a balance between work, family, physical fitness, hobbies, and spending time with our friends. It’s also important for us to understand that some days will be crazier than others but that our overall goal is to find balance within each week. Here are some useful suggestions to help you achieve this goal.
- Get Organized: Use Sunday as your day to plan for your week. Determine a menu for each night and go grocery shopping, so you have everything you need in the house. Decide what nights you will be less busy and when you will have free time for things like doing laundry and other household tasks. Discuss what really needs to be done around the house and how your family can share the responsibility of some of the household chores. Learn to be less critical and realize that things don’t have to be perfect all the time.
- Set Priorities: While setting aside family time may seem like one more thing to add to your ‘to do’ list, it’s critical for a healthy relationship with your family. Just as you are expected to be at work for a set period of time, try to make it a priority to set aside a minimum of one hour each night for your family to prepare and eat dinner together. This time gives all of you a chance to relax, reconnect, and talk about what happened during your time apart. It is also a great way to spend time together before you each move onto your nighttime activities. And, it provides you with a set time each day to address any concerns your children may have. Your family might want to take this idea one step further by planning a weekly game or movie night where you can further enjoy each other’s company. It’s great to have these activities scheduled, so you can all look forward to them.
- Don’t Overschedule Your Family: Yes, enrolling your children in activities such as swimming lessons, a team sport, or dancing will help them develop their social skills and teach them about responsibility. However, if they are constantly running from one activity to the next, will they truly find joy in what they are doing? Or will they (and you) simply be exhausted? Ask your children what they really love to do and make that activity their priority. Then, let the rest go.
- Recharge With A Break: Multitasking is not a good thing. It wears us out and often results in a mediocre job. Putting down the phone or stepping away from social media is healthy, and it’s important for busy, working parents to remember that 10 or 15 minutes of downtime can go a long way toward making the rest of your day more enjoyable. It can also make accomplishing the rest of the tasks on your ‘to do’ list less daunting. Treat yourself to reading a book, just closing your eyes and focusing on your breath, or taking a shower or bath. Any of these things will help you find the energy to carry on for the rest of the night. Similarly, keep in mind that your children might need time to recharge after the craziness of their day as well.
Finding balance in your life might be difficult. But by getting organized, prioritizing your time, watching your family’s schedule, and setting aside time to recharge, you will be well on your way to achieving greater happiness.