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Balancing Work and Family: I know, you never knew it would be so hard!!

by Elizabeth Rahamim, LCSW, SAP

Ughh, the baby has a fever, Riley has to bring snacks for her Girl Scout Meeting that you completely forgot about until today! And, you’ve got your boss sending you e-mails every hour asking you about how that report is coming along because they really need it to close out this month’s sales numbers. Sound familiar? The most critical step for you, the parent, is to remain calm and figure out how to shift your priorities on a daily, and sometimes hourly basis. I really don’t think that there truly is a “work-life balance” unless you are standing in the center of a teeter totter, with a kid on each end while calling into a conference call on your cell phone.

Here are a few tips to create as much family work-life balance as is reasonably possible. Plan for what feels like a crisis, because it will happen more often than you might think. What does this mean? Rally the resources. Have several sitters interviewed and familiar with your kids and household routine who don’t mind watching your kiddos when they get sick, you end up having a late night meeting or get stuck in traffic. Or of course, if you have auntie or grandma or friend available, even better! Try to keep your freezer stocked with easy go to last minute meals that can easily be prepared in less than 20 minutes. In my house, mine is usually pasta (15 min max), frozen meatballs (defrost button on microwave works like a charm), Jar of pasta sauce and frozen green beans. Sometimes I even freeze pasta that is left over and defrost it when I need it. Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep. Without this, you are less organized, less motivated, and significantly impaired to work as efficiently and sharply as you would otherwise dragging your feet when trying to get tasks completed. As tempting as it is to watch that latest episode of Survivor, put yourself to bed early at least once a week to catch up on sleep. You will be shocked what a difference this makes in your day, your mood and your work-life balance.

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