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Work & Family Balance 

   

With so many two income and single parent families these days, parents are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve a balance between work, family and personal time. Regrettably, working parents try so hard to succeed at their duel role of parenting and career, that they leave little or no time for personal leisure and relaxation. Muriel Jarvis is an Executive Director with Family Services; she believes that eventually this takes an emotional toll on parents, which could lead to high levels of stress and have an adverse impact on the children and relationships with your spouse or partner. After working a long day, parents come home to children who need their full attention - so many parents feel guilty about taking personal time for themselves. But "in order to feel balance in your life, it's essential to take quality time for yourself and find a balance at home first, says Mrs. Jarvis, this will help you find balance in the other parts of your life." Here are some ways you can bring balance to your life:

Find time for you:

Research has shown that people who spend too much time at work may be less productive than those who take personal time to recharge. Whether it's enjoying a hobby or going for a walk - try to take at least three hours a week for your own personal enjoyment; otherwise you will become exhausted and unhappy over time. If you don't have anyone to watch the children while you take this time, try to set up a network of friends that can take turns watching each other's children to allow everyone some time for personal leisure. Ask around your child's daycare, school or at moms and tots programs for parents who are interested in starting an arrangement.

Cooperation and Communication:

Achieving balance will take good communication skills and cooperation from everyone. Express your needs and expectations with your family and discuss ways of how chores around the house can be shared. Even young children can pitch in with setting the table and picking up their toys for example. Delegating chores will take time and effort in the beginning, but will pay off in time saved.

Reorganize your limits and set priorities:

Between raising a family, managing a home, and working, there's a limit to what you can do, so if you are feeling bogged down with work and family responsibilities and there are conflicting demands on your time - ask your family to help you revaluate priorities. Remember that asking for help does not mean that you are lacking ability in any way; rather it shows the people around you that you care. At work, discuss with your Supervisor the workload you think you can reasonably handle. Reorganizing your limits can also help reduce negative stress in your life.

Learn to say "No":

Do you find it hard to say no? It's flattering when people ask for our help - and we all like to be needed. But if you say yes to everyone, eventually you will become besieged with responsibility and have little or no time left for personal and family needs. This also applies to your children, these days children seem to be overly involved in extra-curricular activities - sit down with your family and decide is it really necessary to spend so much time on these extra activities? Establish what is important to each member of the family. Start by listing what needs to be done and then focus on recreational activities. Suggest that each family member choose one or two outside activities rather than being overly involved in too many.

Have parent time:

Set aside time at least once a week for just you and your mate, after all, it's your relationship that is the foundation of the family so it needs nourishment. The encouragement and support you receive from each other will help bring balance to your life and family.

Balancing your family and work life will require some time and patience from everyone in the beginning, but with teamwork, good communication and organization, you will see many positive results in the long run.
   

 

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