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It’s a Circus in Here! The Juggling Act of Work and Family Time

Balancing work and family time can feel impossible and overwhelming.

It’s important to set clear boundaries and expectations for yourself and everyone else in your family. It also helps to establish routines for yourself and your family that make it easier to manage your time. Here are some additional tips to help with balancing work and family time:

Make time for yourself. 

I’m fairly new to this “single parent” gig, sometimes making time for myself isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Things always seem to come up and no matter how many times I might try to “schedule” with my kids, something pops up and they need me.  As much as we always want to put our kids first, we also need to find moments to put ourselves first.  I explained it to my daughter like this “when you are on an airplane, they tell you that if something happens with the air pressure, you should put your own mask on first, then help the person that can’t do it on their own.  Although my first instinct is always to protect you, sometimes I have to ‘put the mask on myself’ before I can attend to what you need.”  This might seem a bit extreme but I know my kids well enough to know they understood the analogy.

Prioritize family time. 

For years I have talked about having family game night or movie night, a craft day or tea party, but things just don’t seem to go as planned.  This has created a level of distrust with my kids.  I’ve really had to work on making it a priority to schedule that little bit of time to do something fun and connect with my kids.  My oldest daughter and I started watching all of the Marvel movies and series, but even when we take a little break from the MCU, we still hang out and watch a show together.  My younger daughter can be a bit more challenging in how she likes to spend her time, but we make sure to have a little “hang out” session every day.

Set boundaries. 

This was such a struggle for me.  If the phone rings, I want to answer it!  If I get a phone alert, I feel compelled to check it and respond.  Not only did I have to set boundaries with other people, such as telling them I no longer answer the phone during our “school hours”, I also had to set boundaries with myself, including leaving my phone and tablet in a different room to avoid the distraction.  Setting boundaries can also be something as simple as sticking to a bedtime and chore list.

Delegate tasks. 

For years I have tried to do as much myself as possible.  No one gets the job done quite like oneself, right?  Sure, except that this leads to a whole slew of frustration, anger, exhaustion!  Our family has been working on the task of delegating.  Not every chore has to be done by mom!  We also change up certain chores to keep things as “fair” as possible.

Take breaks. 

Hey, you get breaks when you work that nine-to-five, you should certainly get them at home!  In our house we set a timer, because that quick five minute break easily turns into five hours if you aren’t paying attention.  Whether we are working on homeschool, daily chores, or when I am working on my business, we like to break things up a bit to give our mind, and body, a little rest between activities.  Some of the best breaks are even doing a different activity, so don’t limit yourself!

Don’t forget to give yourself some grace.  It seems like every week we are trying to add more into our schedule, one more activity, one more appointment…  Sometimes you simply have to give yourself approval to say “no”, to miss out, to know that some things really can be done tomorrow.  Everything can feel important, but it’s up to you to prioritize what is best for you and your family.  You’ve got this mama!

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