Managing The Balance Between Your Family and Your Career
It’s 2018, and for many of us, this means that the stress of working life isn’t going to get any easier. With targets to always hit, deadlines to always meet and people to always please, this year, unfortunately, isn’t going to see the workload get any less. We, at Stemx, put our hands together to every working individual who keeps their heads above the workload, but you know who we really applaud? We applaud those who not only manage a career but also a family. Finding a balance between family life and a career is no walk in the park, so how is it done, and how many of us Brits struggle with it?
Did you know that eight in ten modern parents admit that their lives switch to autopilot mode for most days of the week? And most of these people have stated that autopilot is the only way that actually can get through the working week. When it comes to balancing family life and working life, parents can struggle to make the balance what they feel it needs to be, and if you are one of them, you are certainly not alone. Dorset Cereals conducted research to find out just how many of us feel like this balance is, well, unbalanced, and we were both surprised and equally unsurprised by the results. The research showed that the average British mum spends around 14.5 hours a day carrying out tasks for the family. That’s 60%, and that’s a lot. Don’t worry, the average British dad isn’t far behind with around 10 hours a day dedicated to the family – still a lot in our opinion. So, if all of this time is being spent on family, where exactly does the career squeeze in?
Of the 2000 British parents that were a part of the research, 71% claimed they felt disconnected from their families because their working life is too stressful, showing that despite the many changes workplaces are trying to put into place to solve this, the balance of work and home life is not getting any easier. So what is it about family life that is causing all this stress? Well, mums state they tackle around 25 family chores a day and dads just under with 18, with the chore of continuous cleaning named as one of the most tedious chores, so much so that 48% said they would transfer the job to someone else if they had the chance. Ironing the school uniforms and taking out the rubbish was next in line as the most annoying family chores, however, the most stressful job names by British parents is breakfast. Why are we not shocked?
If all of this wasn’t stressful enough, over two-thirds of all the parents involved in Dorset Cereals’ research admitted that they feel a lot of pressure to perform as ‘perfect parents’. This, and the desire to achieve well in the workplace can be (and evidently is) tricky to juggle, so let’s look at a few steps you can take in the right direction.
Tips on how to balance work and family life…
Set yourself realistic goals and limits.
The first step to achieving a balance is by setting realistic goals and limits for you to keep. Family life can admittedly be unpredictable, but if you schedule your time as much as possible, this should help things become a little more routine. There is absolutely no reason why you can’t sit down with your manager to go through your hours and commitments to create a better balance. After all, they will want you to be on your best form so that your work output is the best it can be.
Be honest with yourself.
There is very little point setting goals or limits if they are unachievable. So, when it comes to doing this, put into consideration what you are physically able to output. Sometimes this will mean you may have to prioritise either work or family, but again, balancing out which one is prioritised is a huge part of planning. Why not, for example, put work first one week and then prioritise family the next? Compromise with yourself.
Listen to your body.
Perhaps a touch clichè, but listening to your body is a great way to determine when you are overworking. This could be doing too much of one thing or too much of everything, but eventually, you need to allow your body to rest. Overworking yourself could easily resort to your performance being below what it should be, so allow some time to unwind and don’t feel guilty about it!
Try and make the most of the bits you find stressful.
Ok, fair enough, there isn’t much you can make enjoyable out of doing the ironing or taking out the bins, but other stressful factors of your day really don’t have to be so bad. Take breakfast and bedtime, for example. If you deem these as some of your most stressful parts of the day, then find a way to alter them slightly to make them more enjoyable. If you try to make the most of this quality time, you may not feel so guilty about putting in the work hours which brings you one step closer to balance.