Juggling your personal life and professional life is by no means easy, especially if you have kids. This is the reality working parents find themselves in on a daily basis, where the 24 hours of each day oftentimes doesn’t seem enough.
But, for all the parents out there who are in this very same struggle, never fear. Today, we have compiled a list of tips for you to achieve work-life balance while continuing to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Step 1: Plan and Prepare
…and whenever possible, do it in the evening to help make your days better organised and less chaotic. You can plan tomorrow’s breakfast, tomorrow’s clothes (yours and the kids’), and prepare lunches to go. Your mornings will be more relaxed than ever.
Use weekends to plan meals for the coming week too. This will further save food prep time on weekdays. After you have bought your major ingredients from the supermarket, you can pre-cook and freeze dinner meals for reheating in the week ahead.
If you want freshly cooked food made on the day itself, no worries, you can still save time by getting all your ingredients ready. Chop vegetables in advance before you store them, so when it’s time to cook, you just have to throw everything in.
Step 2: Automate whenever possible
If you’re spending valuable time going to payment centres to settle bills each month, you might want to try subscribing to an online payment or direct debit system. Centralising your bills means decreasing the time you devote to making payments at different establishments.
You may also shop online for groceries if you’re really pressed for time. Getting started on this now and finding a local store to subscribe to will help you develop a routine that will eventually cut back the hours you spend on grocery-shopping.
Step 3: Delegate tasks
Enlist the help of the kids and include them in the family calendar to-do list. You can hang this up in the kitchen for everyone to see and colour-code each chore or event according to each family member’s “assignment.” Do not try to shoulder everything yourself or force to squeeze it all between you and your spouse. Let the kids help so you can start instilling a sense of responsibility in them too. See? You’ll be hitting two birds with one stone.
Step 4: Leave work in the office where it belongs
Bringing home work is sometimes necessary, but it must be avoided as much as possible. It will make it harder for you to switch from the executive to dad, or from being the manager to being mom if your mind is always at work. In case you do have to bring some work home, do it someplace other than the family room or the dining table. Work in a separate and closed off room where you can finish faster and leave once you’re done.
Step 5: Make room in your schedule for “me” time
No matter how much you want to be supermom or superdad for the kids, you’re only human; and you need to spend time doing things that make you feel happy and relaxed. You’re not being selfish when you devote time for yourself; you’re being human. Plus, when you take time to relax, go out on date nights, or spend time with friends, you are de-stressing and building up the energy to jump back into the routine and be at your best for your family once more.
Take a break. You deserve it. And remember, things are not always going to be perfect, but that’s okay. When you achieve the right balance between being a parent and being a professional, you will feel content that things are in their right place.