We all have our own priorities.
They may vary, be totally different or the same and at the end of the day everyone is free to choose what are the most important components in life.
When you have kids, it is absolutely reasonable that they become your number one priority. For many mothers, they become their “full time job” and still it would not be enough, as their needs and necessities go much far beyond the time that one would spend just at work.
Not only time, even the amount of energy and resources incurred in family commitments need to be considered.
Nevertheless, in these situations, the more such choices are left to fate, the easier it will be that a spiral of events takes place, which will simply make the consequences harder to handle. By way of example imagine the father who to cover for expenses to sustain his family, he will take up extra working hours of overtime, coming back home always later and more tired; this will simply decrease his activities with the family. On the other hand, a mother who does not have a minute to take for herself as she is always busy with the kids, she will literally feel as being compulsory busy, which can easily lead her to physical and emotional stress.
In order to avoid such circumstances, an actual plan within the family must be put in place, and fundamental is the communication between the partners. Both partners should feel free to pursue their ambitions and dreams, in terms of family, individual desires but also from the perspective of a professional career.
Leave out the sense of guilt because of divided attention between work and family and get some real advice:
1. Organise your days.
Plan ahead, start by planning and preparing from the evening or the night before, everything that you can: the lunch for the kids, clothes to wear – for them and for you – and take also a track of the scheduled appointments for the coming days. Time-management is quite a well-known skill that you require to develop and that will facilitate you to stay on top of your tasks and get more of them done. By being more organised, not only you will benefit for what you will manage to accomplish, but also you will save time that you can spend with your kids, with your partner or for yourself. Additionally, your children will have in front of their eyes an example of disciplined adults which can only be beneficial.
2. Seek flexibility at work.
If you already have a job, you can talk to your employer or HR manager, presenting a detailed plan of your requirements, the targets and workload that you are willing to pursue at work. Given your value in your company, an employer can easily see under a positive light your proposal and pledge, albeit with some compromise. For instance, check out if you can carry out some kind of work from home (i.e. e-mail checking and review, clients’ correspondence or debtor chasing by phone calls amongst others).
If you are looking for a job, you can definitely seek opportunities to work on reduced hours or part time, but also consider the above mentioned criteria and eventually you can still find an employment opportunity, whereby you will be employed full time with a defined percentage of work from home basis.
3. Invest in yourself.
Either if you sat years ago for your bachelor degree or that for some reasons you interrupted your studies, it is fundamental to appreciate the significance of lifelong learning. Nowadays, with the backdrop of the economic crisis and the loss of the model of the “permanent employment”, replaced by a more modern and complex “employability concept”, a number of challenges must be faced. You should keep yourself always abreast of anything relevant to your profession and integrate new technologies as a way to make your life easier.
Moreover, check out what are the latest trends in the labour market and you can eventually decide to learn and develop new skills in relation to them; this will definitely help you to build a solid career, to prevent difficult changes and to find alternative work solutions. Today, there is a wide range of training opportunities designed for total flexibility, which allow you to study at your own pace, from home and through online platform of e-learning (for example, when your kids are sleeping or doing their homework).
4. Use communication as the Key
Communication holds one of the first places among the essential principles to successful family functioning. Communication with your partner needs to be always on top, but even the thought of never being alone, in the great adventure which life is, it is something to seriously consider. Do not be afraid to ask for support or help from family and friends, since apart from your partner, even grandparents, uncles and even next-door neighbours, can straightforwardly support you. By knowing you, they will be probably happy to help too.
Therefore you can get more precious time that you can dedicate to your partner, to relax or to yourself: you can opt for some exercise, that still won’t only improve your health, but it will positively affect the balance between home and work, freeing your mind and relieving you from hectic and busy days.