Striking the perfect balance between work and family can prove challenging. If you dedicate too much time to your duties at work, you risk hurting your relationships at home. On the other hand, if you make home your priority, you may not be able to keep up with the rigors of work. While nothing can simplify this complex dilemma, there are ways to balance home and work to prevent problems associated with putting business before the ones you hold dear.
If you’re always at the beck and call of your employer, your family can feel the brunt of this constant availability. While the rigors of your job may require you to respond to your employer’s requests often, it’s still important to create time when your family knows they can depend upon you. If possible, set up specific times when you cannot be contacted. During those times, turn off your phone and don’t venture to the computer to check your email. Set aside as much no-contact time daily as possible. You may wish to inform your employer of this effort so that he can plan his contact times around these daily family hours.
Family Dinner Commitments
Having dinner with your family may seem like a simple thing, but it’s tremendously important. Children in families where kids eat dinner together are less likely to smoke and drink, less prone to suicide attempts and are more likely to hold off on having sex, according to Time Magazine’s 2006 article titled, “The Magic of the Family Meal.” Regardless of how busy work may keep you, managing to steal yourself away for a family dinner each night could make a major difference in your children’s development.
Instead of diving into work and completely ignoring your family during the work day, put effort into reaching out to your spouse and children. Plan calls home at lunch time or other times throughout the day. If possible, email back and forth with your spouse or send out an email for your children to read when they return home from school. These small efforts send a big message that, while you may be busy with work, you still make time for them.
If the rigors of your work often lead you to bring the office home, you may find that you aren’t dedicating enough time to your family. Commit to setting aside several nights a week to spend time with your family, free from the distractions of work and make these nights consistent. Alternatively, allow your current projects to dictate which nights you’ll spend with family and which ones you will dedicate, at least in part, to completing some of your work duties.