Any parent will tell you that raising children is a full time job. When parents have careers on top of their childrearing responsibilities, life can become more than a little hectic.
As someone who has overcome great obstacles, both personally and in the business world, I know that you can find success in anything you commit yourself to. With the following tips, you can create your own “ideal” situation; one that doesn’t involve compromising either your family or your work.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned:
Organization is Key
With my experience as an entrepreneur, I have learned that organization is essential to success, be it a family or work matter. When you are trying to balance both a career and kids, start by creating a master calendar. In my field of work, I find myself juggling a busy schedule. Between my responsibilities at my rehabilitation facilities, my fundraising and charity events, and my family obligations, I would be remiss if I didn’t have a schedule.
By looking at your tasks as a whole, it makes them seem less complicated and more manageable. These days, any device can help you create a schedule, with reminders, so that you never miss a board meeting or a PTA meeting.
To-do lists are also a helpful tool for better organization. Not only can you see exactly what you need to do today — without getting overwhelmed by the rest of the week’s tasks — you get the satisfaction of crossing them off as you complete them. When you take a moment to acknowledge the achievement of a goal and then prepare to shift gears to the next project, it can make for a more gratifying day overall.
Utilize Downtime Properly
It is important to remember to make some time to check in both with the family and at work. In other words, schedule some down time so you can bond with each child, but also block off time at work to review files, catch up on emails, or even organize your desk, this way, you can stay on top of your duties.
Don’t forget to also make time for yourself. Treat it as you would any other responsibility and make sure it gets done — each day, allow yourself at least 30 minutes of “you time.” If you can’t make it work at the same time every day (which may often be the case when it comes to balancing sales calls, daycare, business meetings, soccer practice, and whatever else your dual roles demand of you), commit to making the time.
Breaks get a bad reputation for being a sign of weakness, but the truth is we all need a little time to rest and reboot. Personally, I like to take walks to recharge my batteries. The fresh air, sunshine, and exercise have a beautiful way of helping me calm my mind, even on the busiest days.
Find what works for you, whether it’s reading a chapter of your favorite book, practicing some relaxation techniques, or even indulging in an episode of your favorite reality TV show, and give yourself a break. Remember, you shouldn’t feel guilty about taking care of your own wellbeing — self-care actually makes you a better parent and professional!
Get Your Priorities Straight
If you are feeling overwhelmed by all of your tasks, both at home and at work, take a moment to figure out what duties take precedence. Once you have done so, you can check off the more important tasks first.
Only you can decide what is most significant, and while you can’t always please everyone, you can find solace in the fact that you did the best you could: remember, that’s all anyone can ask of you!
If you are like me and are passionate about your career, your family, and your social obligations, then you should know that you can succeed in them all.