Being both a parent and career professional is undoubtedly difficult at times. You feel as if you’re being pulled in two directions. However, by defining your priorities and thinking outside of the box, you can often achieve a nice balance of both.
Define Your Priorities
The type of work that you do, how long you’re willing to work, your future career goals, what instances will require you to be with your family instead of work, etc. play important roles in determining your professional and family priorities. For example, you may be shooting for a promotion in the next year at work. In the meantime, you know that means you will have to pay for sitters to work late, that you might miss a gymnastics practice once a week, and that you may not be home to cook dinner every night. Sacrificing now would mean that you have the option to work from home two days a week with the promotion and that you would get a raise.
Consider presenting a plan to your boss that allows you to work from home or to work four days a week. Maybe you can go back to school to train for a job with more flexibility. Start your own business so you can set your own schedule. Work from home part-time after doing some serious number crunching on your budget if you feel you aren’t at home enough. Ask for a transfer to a facility in your company closer to home to reduce commute time.
Even though you may be a teacher who refuses to stay at work past 4:00 p.m. so you are the one to pick your child up from day care every day, there may be times when you need to stay late for a school event. Maybe you need time to catch up on grading or to redecorate your room. Don’t get so caught up in your desire to be at home that you neglect the needs of your coworkers, clients, students, etc. You do need to know how to say no if you are getting overwhelmed. However, saying yes once in a while will help create a positive work environment.
Let us know what are your practical tips for balancing work and family in the comments. Thank you!