Working parents often struggle to acheive a healthy work life balance. How can you strike the right balance between being great employees and being great mums and dads? It is incredibly hard to do both well and not damage your own health. The more time you spend at work, the less quality family time you have and the more time you invest in your partner and children, the less you can put into your career. Getting the balance wrong can lead to resentment and relationship problems at home and a lack of job satisfaction and progression at the office along with a negative effect on your mental health.
Risking Your Career
Clocking in and out on time will maximise your time at home but when colleagues are putting in extra time before and after their shifts, it can feel like there is no hope for a promotion. Taking time off to care for a sick child or watch a school performance can be resented by your employer and colleagues too who are left to cover your workload, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
- Work hard and remember that productivity is not measured by the number of extra hours you clock up. Avoid wasting time at work and increase your productivity to get yourself noticed.
- Discuss time off with your boss and make sure you have a plan in place to make up the work missed. Ensure that colleagues know you are there for them too should they need time off at short notice.
Risking Your Health
Putting in 100% at work and 100% at home can leave working parents run down and many report their happiness levels decreasing as time spent at work increases. Juggling the demands of both a successful career and a busy household can be dangerous so watch out for the signs of your health being damaged and make plans to ensure you are getting the work life balance right.
- Take charge of your time off, use your breaks at work and any down time at home to switch off. Relaxation is important for both body and mind so remember you are worth that investment and it will benefit you over time.
- Leave work at the office and avoid worrying about work issues when at home. If you must bring work home then set yourself a time and a place to do it and stick to them.
- Exercise, eat well and try to get enough sleep. Encourage your partner to do the same and spend time each day talking about any worries you have.
Maximising Your Home Life
The best way to ensure a good work-life balance is to maximise the time you do have at home and make every minute a quality one.
- Get up a little bit earlier and have a leisurely family breakfast chatting about the day ahead to keep you in touch with home life.
- Get home for bedtime as often as you can and make the most of that quiet winding down hour before sleep.
- Cook together as a family. Batch cook for easier meals or utilise oven waiting time by playing games at your dining table while the food cooks.
- Couples should remember to book in some time off, have a meal out or see a show and keep your relationship healthy. Single parents should take the time to see friends or date.
Whilst balancing work and home life can be challenging it is so important to be happy with the time you spend doing both.
Never underestimate how vital it is to look after your health so don’t live to work, work so that you can live.
How do you achieve a healthy work life balance? Let us know in the comments, or join the conversation on Facebook.