9 Ways to Balance AND Enjoy Your Busy Family Life

To say this is a busy season in our lives is by far the understatement of the year. Our family calendar is a jumbled mess of colors, many overlapping the others.

9 ways to balance and enjoy your busy family life - Jackie Bledsoe | tips to help with work-life balance

We are at a unique season in our careers and family. I’m in the middle of some amazing career opportunities (book deal being one). My wife is not only serving the role of homeschooling mom, but also homeschool community director. In addition, we recently launched our first venture together, co-hosts of a web show.

BONUS: There are some great tips for achieving work-life balance in this post. Why not take the tips with you?

Just CLICK HERE to download the infographic, 9 Work-Life Balance Tips for Busy Parents. Enjoy!

Oh, and yes, our kids are just as busy, if not more. We are at the unique season where we have a teen (14), a grammar/elementary age child (9), and a pre-kindergartner (5), who all are involved in multiple activities. And this summer we start the process of researching, visiting, and planning for college for our oldest child.

Sometimes family life is just not that enjoyable

So, busy parents, plus kids who are just starting out (5-year-old), just starting to get serious (9-year-old), and just beginning to focus on the future (14-year-old). That formula can quickly reach the point of overwhelm! Finding a way to achieve a good sense of work-life balance seems almost impossible, and it can make some of the things we are supposed to enjoy, not so enjoyable.

Can you relate?

It makes you feel like throwing your hands up, throwing in the towel, and just giving up sometimes doesn’t it? Maybe I’m just speaking to myself. If not, I think I found something to help those of us who are struggling and just can’t seem to get on top of this mythical thing called “work-life balance.”

Maybe there is a hope

Someone recently shared an infographic with me called “9 work-life balance tips for busy parents.” It’s filled with research, an assessment, and most importantly, nine ways you can find better balance. It’s definitely worthy of sharing, especially for families in a busy season like ours.

Check out the nine tips below (shared with permission of Serenata Flowers, and explained in my own words). Then start to get some balance back in your work and family life. And some joy!

9 ways to balance and enjoy your busy family life

  1. Prepare the night before. It’s about a 99.8% chance that our family will be late in the morning, or rushing around like we have no sense if we don’t prepare the night before. Make preparing the night before a habit, and start to receive much better and more enjoyable results.
  2. Plan meals ahead. Eating on the run, or when we start to feel hungry is a recipe for disaster, low energy, and overall bad health. Eat for nutrition and energy, and plan out your meals in advance. If you aren’t the “chef” in the house, then help the household “chef” accomplish this.
  3. Utilize the internet. This is kind of like meal planning for store runs. Research, purchase, and do as much as you can online to avoid spending so much time in physical stores. You’ll be more efficient and it’ll free you up to spend time with your kids at home doing other things that you’d both enjoy more.
  4. See if work can be flexible. When looking for a new job, role, or career consider the flexibility of the work you’ll be doing. If you are set in your current work then talk with your employers or partners to see how you can add some flexibility to your work. More and more companies are embracing this.
  5. Make a family calendar. With so many plates spinning we’d have major issues without a calendar.  Google Calendar helps manage this. It’s great because you can have access to one another’s calendars, and it goes with you where ever you go via your mobile devices. Another great tool you can use and collaborate as a family is Evernote. It is my favorite and most useful app. Here are five practical uses for Evernote uses for your family.
  6. Leave work at work. I’m calling myself out on this one. I work at home, and honestly this is a major problem. Technology definitely blurs the line between work and family, and if you’re not careful this can cause problems. However, by establishing a few habits you can bless your family not cause issues.
  7. Make ‘you’ time a priority. Again, I’m guilty. I focus so much on work and family, that I rarely just sit back and enjoy things that are specific to my enjoyment. When I try to I sometimes feel guilty. I shouldn’t and you shouldn’t either. It’s not selfish, and it’ll actually be good for your family. Set aside one evening a week to do something you really enjoy.
  8. Divide and conquer. Both my wife and I are for this, but our execution is sometimes lacking. My execution in helping her, and her execution in getting the kids to chip in. Be domestic sexy for your wife, and help also by teaching and training your kids to help around the house. You may be surprised at what they can handle.
  9. Give up on perfection. We recently realized there seems to be a pile or stack of something in every room of our house. It frustrates the heck out of me. But I need to realize we aren’t perfect…while at the same time slowly and methodically work toward addressing those things and getting more balance! But beating yourself or your spouse up over it will not help.

Whether you achieve the perfect work-life balance or not, you can still enjoy a busy family life. Utilize the tips in this list, and bring back balance and enjoyment to your work and family life.

Click Here to Take These Tips With You + Get a FREE Bonus

Question: What is the biggest challenge you have in achieving work-life balance? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Infographic credit: SerenataFlowers.com

The Happily Married Couples Community on Facebook

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Kevin Duy

    Great post. Speaking to me brother! We seem to be at the mercy of our kids’ sports schedules. My wife and I sometimes feel like we have no control over our lives. We just need to be wherever the next practice or game is. And often, that’s two or three places at once! The biggest problem for us is that our kids love playing multiple sports & that’s great, BUT it seems like every sport is requiring more and more of your time and a bigger commitment so their seasons overlap a lot!

    • So true Kevin. We started down this road, but once we got to 4 kids… we slammed the brakes. In this season, we do 1 activity really well and it’s one night per week! The rest of the week we just play and have fun 🙂 And Jackie, you explained this in a way that your readers can actually apply it. That’s why I like reading your stuff.

    • Man, you said it! We could manage a little better when we had 2 kids doing multiple things, as we could divide and conquer. But with 3 having multiple activities we need a clone! We recently named the next 2-3 months “Reset” where anything and everything is up for evaluation as to how/where/if we do it. Our goal is to take control and “reset” this madness so we aren’t so overwhelmed.

      • Good choice Jackie. We “reset” in July of 2013 (coincidentally, the month our 4th was born:) It was hard, very hard. We told the kids over Friendly’s “We will keep the Royal Rangers, but…we are pausing baseball, TKD, and dance class for a while.” They were shocked, but then we told them the rest. “We are going to use that extra time and money to focus on getting debt-free and to spend more fun time as a family.” They liked that. “We want you (kids) to be a part of our family goals and we will celebrate in Disney once we pay our last debt.” Now, they were totally on board. It’s been 18 months and the kids have nearly forgotten about baseball, TKD, and dance. We make Wednesday night Dad night where I take the 3 oldest to Rangers and Mama gets a night of quiet. At some point, we may add something back in – but on our terms. This is good conversation, I hope it helps someone.

        • You just helped me, Ken!!! I’m going to share your comment with my wife! I had a serious conversation with our daughter about our debt freedom goal during our “daddy-kid day.” The entire day she had her mind on closing out our day at a restaurant, but after our talk she thought our debt goal was more important. Thanks for sharing, Ken! This is really good conversation.

  • Great post Jackie.