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Balancing work and home life

Balancing work and home life
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For many working parents, balancing work and home life can seem like finding the Holy Grail. It isn’t easy juggling a successful working life with a happy family home. On one hand, you want and need to earn money, have a role outside of the family and boost your self-esteem. On the other hand, you wish you could be there more for the kids and your partner. Here’s how to try and get the best of both worlds.

Consider changing your hours

One of the most desirable ways to balance work and family is to work fewer hours. This would give you more time to spend at home, or reacquainting yourself with a social life. Many employers are now happy for staff to work part-time or flexible hours, but if you don’t ask you don’t get so make sure your manager knows how you feel. However, working less also means earning less, do your sums before you make any decisions, making sure you won’t be short for the basics.

Even if you can’t reduce your hours, there are other ways to achieve a decent work life balance.

Quality time

Quality is just as important as quantity when it comes to spending time as a family. Try to keep one weekend day clear to spend together. It doesn’t have to be doing something amazing, watching a film with each other or going for a walk is great. If you’re home from work early enough during the week, make sure everyone sits down to dinner together, this will give you a chance to catch up on each others lives.

Chat to each other

You may not have a huge amount time to spend with the kids, but it’s amazing how much you can squeeze into everyday routines. Make an effort to chat on the school run or get them to help you with household chores. Listen to what they have to say while you get on with other stuff at the same time. As long as you’re attentive then kids usually won’t mind.

Balancing work and home life

Bedtime routines

Bedtime routines are great for children. They allow kids time to wind down and snuggle before falling off into (what will hopefully be) a good night’s sleep. Even if you’re knackered after work, bedtime can be a great opportunity to bond. As children are winding down they don’t need you to be particularly energetic, relaxing with a story and a cuddle from mum or dad is a lovely way to end their day.

Banish guilt

The biggest secret to achieving a healthy work life balance is to banish all feelings of guilt over it. Rather than feeling guilty for being away from your family, focus on the benefits they get from you working. That might be a larger house than you’d otherwise be able to afford, holidays, clubs and hobbies, savings for when they go off to college or a role model to look up to. Everyone has bad days, when they come around you just need to remind yourself that everything you’re doing is for your family.

There’s no right or wrong answer to balancing work and home life. What’s right for one family may be completely wrong for another. What matters is that you, your partner and your kids are content with how things are set up.

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About Maria Brett

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About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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