1. Do not look for balance, this will only make you feel guilty, frustrated and inadequate. Instead, be mindful and flexible about both your career and your family life. Respect both as important and uneven facets of your life and establish practical and workable boundaries that suit your unique circumstances. Some days you will work long hours and find your children in bed, some days you will stay home or knock off early and spend time with your children, it is normal. There is no known formula to strike an even work –family balance. Get up each morning, show up and do your best.
2. Get help, As much as we would like to take care of everything, the truth is, we cannot do it all by ourselves. When we over exert ourselves, and try to be superwoman, we not only exhaust but demotivate ourselves in the process. Get help with housekeeping, laundry, babysitting or even meal preparation. Ask a friend or relative with spare time on their hands or your partner or older children to help out and ease the burden of running a home. You could also find reputable agencies to help source a reliable domestic worker for you on a full time or part time basis whichever best suits your needs.
3. Cherish the moments with your family, never take any of these for granted, take a lot of photos, collect memories, laugh more, establish family traditions that encourage bonding and inclusion such as having dinners together, fun and games over the weekend or planning your holidays. What with deadlines and targets, it is very easy to be so engrossed in our work that we forget to talk to our children or spouses. Maintain clear communication with your family daily to stay abreast of what is going right or wrong even if it’s a ten minute meeting daily. Looking after only one aspect of our lives, and letting the other run on autopilot comes with the risk of unpleasant surprises that might sabotage all else.
4. Master your time management and multi skilling, use your time wisely and be present for both your job and your family as much as is humanly possible. Always have your daily planner and checklists handy in case you have to run an errand or jot down something on the go. Focus on your work and get as much done as possible, that way you do not have to carry work home. Get enough sleep and resist the temptation to stay up late at night as this will only make you grumpy and unproductive the next day. Prepare for the next day in advance, do batch cooking and freezing, have the next day’s lunches ready before bed to make your mornings easier. Cut out any unproductive habits that take up precious time.
5. Have me time when you can, go get that massage or hair treatment, watch a movie or spend time in silent meditation. We all need that break from the hustle and bustle of life to regroup and take stock of what is happening in and around us, recharge our batteries so we can go out there and accomplish even more!