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.
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.
[callout]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![/callout]
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
[reminder]What is the biggest challenge you have in achieving work-life balance?[/reminder]
Infographic credit: SerenataFlowers.com